"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions." --Thomas Jefferson to John Tyler, 1804.

Inside and outside campaigns

We’re likely going to see more of this on a national scale. But we’ll note here David Postman’s recent post that it’s turning up in the Northwest at present.

There are presidential campaigns, and then there are campaigns in support of (or opposition to) presidential campaigns. This fact is significant in the case of all, maybe most significant in the case of Democratic candidate John Edwards, who is taking federal matching money and thereby limiting his campaign funds. But what about other organizations that run their own ads and messages?

This is a sticky and uncertain area, legally and ethically – there’s supposed to be no coordination between the ins and outs, but what that means can be unclear. Postman is noting that one of Washington’s biggest and most influential unions, S.E.I.U. local 775, has been organizing support for Edwards. (The national organization has not endorsed in the Democratic contest.) One local leader told Postman, “At that point no one is really making any strategic decisions. It was just listing a number of things that are obvious that the union could do for Edwards. That includes things you could coordinate and things you couldn’t coordinate.”

As noted, there will be more of this.

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