Clinton First Ever to Opt Out of Federal Matching Funds for General and Primary
by Jonathan Singer, Sun Jan 21, 2007 at 01:35:54 PM EST
The Hotline makes a big catch scrolling through Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign website: the New York Senator may have indicated her intention to be the first candidate ever to opt out of the federal matching funds for both the primaries and the general election in the history of the program.
Look closely at Sen. Clinton's exploratory committee website, and you'll discover that she's asking for contributions as high as $4200 from individuals.
What does that mean?
Because the limit on individual contributions is $2100 per election, it means that Clinton is raising money for two accounts -- her primary account and a general election account.
In other words -- Clinton becomes the first candidate to officially acknowledge that she won't accept federal matching funds for either the primary and the general election.
It seems almost inevitable at this point that the Democratic and Republican candidates will opt out of the federal matching funds system during the general election, as an increasing number have for primary elections. That being said, it's at least somewhat surprising to see any candidate implying their intentions to do so this early in the cycle.
Update [2007-1-22 3:18:8 by Jonathan Singer]: Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson, speaking with Dan Morain of the Los Angeles Times, confirms the above story (leading me to remove the question mark from the end of my headline above).
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-New York) is the first top-tier candidate to tip her hand that she intends to leave the public money on the table. Senior Clinton advisor Howard Wolfson said by e-mail Sunday that she would not take matching funds in the primary campaign or, if she wins the Democratic nomination, in the general election.