"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." - Thomas Jefferson (appears in the Jefferson Memorial)

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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