Friday, January 11, 2008

Unity08 hits the "Pause" button

I can't say I'm surprised, or even hugely disappointed, but it is a little sad:
We were caught in a peculiar catch-22; we wanted to break the dependence on big money by getting lots of small contributions from millions of members, but needed some up-front big money to help generate the millions of members to make the small contributions. And the FEC (in effect, an arm of the parties) didn't let that happen. We have challenged this ruling in the federal courts, but are still awaiting a decision and time is running out.

And so reluctantly, especially given the volatility of the present situation, we're forced to scale back - not cease - our operations and suspend our ballot access project. Our website will become less interactive (it takes staff to answer hundreds of e-mails a day) and we can't in good faith make the $5 million commitment necessary to make a serious start on ballot access.

To be honest, with Obama/Huckabee/McCain reaching-across-the-aisle, and Bloomberg planning a bipartisan bid, I'm not sure Unity08 matters anymore. I'd like to think that they'd have done better if they'd taken my advice, but frankly the FEC ruling is what probably did them in. Ah well, hopefully they can at least with the court case so that Unity12 can give it another shot, in case it is needed...