McAuliffe: Dems should consider forgoing public financing
Looks like DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe may be providing some cover for Dean on the charge that the Governor is waffling on his pledge to accept public financing (NY Times, "Leader Suggests Democrats May Forgo Public Financing"):
Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic National Committee chairman and his party's chief fund-raiser, said today that Democratic presidential candidates vying to take on President Bush next year should consider opting out of the country's public financing system during the primary season.
Mr. McAuliffe's comments underscore concerns among Democratic officials that their nominee could emerge next spring drained of money after a nine-candidate primary season and nearing the spending caps required of candidates who accept public financing. Their fear is that the nominee would then be battered all summer by Mr. Bush — who has no opposition and, because he is not accepting public money, is raising what is expected to be a huge war chest — until the general election, when the nominees receive fresh financing.
Aides to former Gov. Howard Dean of Vermont and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts say their campaigns are considering opting out of the system.
"We need to make sure that we are prepared," Mr. McAuliffe said at a breakfast with reporters. "We are going against an incumbent president with unlimited amounts of money. We have to make sure that we can get our message out."
The article also points out that no Democrat has ever opted out of the system since it was first created and that doing so could prove a fatal blow to the nearly 30 year old system of public financing. I'm not sure if it is that bad, but at least it could lead to a serious discussion of reforming the system to adjust to political realities.