Despite protestations to the contrary by Unity08 staffers, Unity08 did not shut down when it and the Draft Bloomberg committee shared the same business address. It’s not just that the Unity08.com website itself said that Unity08 was “forced to scale back – not cease – our operations.” Unity08 has had its lawyers file a motion to expedite consideration of its lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission — a lawsuit to grant Unity08 the right to take campaign contributions of unlimited size and unlimited loans with undisclosed terms.
This latest motion filed by Unity08 asks DC circuit Judge Richard W. Roberts “for expedited consideration of the crossmotions for summary judgment in this case that are now pending before it.” In other words, Unity08 is asking Judge Roberts to hurry the hell up and get his work done. I sympathize with Unity08 on this point: the incorporated organization filed its lawsuit nearly a year and two months ago, and its last substantial filing was in May of 2007. The case is not immensely complicated and it is time-dependent. Yet Judge Roberts and his staff have sat on their hands and issued no rulings in the case since last summer. Roberts owes Unity08 and those who supported it an explanation for his tardiness; his inattention has potentially impacted a presidential election.
While I have procedural sympathy for Unity08, I have no substantive sympathy for it. The plan, says Unity08, was to seek “to obtain from certain supporters loans of $100,000 or more.” The funny thing is, a very large majority of the contributions obtained by Unity08 did indeed come in the form of such large loans (with mysteriously undisclosed terms). So if Unity08 was already taking in these big megaloans, why was it filing a lawsuit?
Unity08 explains in its latest filing:
A number of individuals otherwise prepared to make loans in these larger amounts have been unwilling to do so because of the Commissionâ€™s ruling… A favorable ruling in the near term may make it possible to revive Unity08 through substantial loans from those individuals who have expressed a willingness to make such loans but not in the face of legal uncertainty about their exposure to possible liability for doing so.
Oh! So Unity08 wants to take on even more megaloans from wealthy donors it has lined up to fund a presidential bid, making its effort to win for some unnamed person the rulership of the nation even more heavily funded by the very, very rich…
… because, you know, it’s not like a presidential bid can soar, raking in nearly $30 million in cash in just one month’s time when some 90 percent of donors give $100 or less to the campaign.
Oh, wait, yes it is. Yes, it is exactly like that, as a matter of fact.
If Unity08 had been as electrifying as Barack Obama has been to the nation, it would have had no trouble meeting its monetary needs. Unity08 had lots of opportunities with cable news and national newspapers and national magazines and late-night TV shows to make its pitch. Unity08 had a lot of opportunities to catch on. The American people rejected the message and tactics of Unity08. That is why Unity08 has been a miserable failure.