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Saturday, August 21, 2004

Who's not being careful about campaign finance disclosures, and why?

N.Z. Bear links an interesting item from OpenSecrets.org which shows that the Kerry-Edwards campaign has a 76% compliance rate with FEC disclosure provisions for campaign contributions, compared to 91% on average for congressional campaigns, and 93% for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

I join him in being puzzled (sorta, when I'm not being snarky) about why the mainstream media isn't digging into, or commenting about, this oddity.  (When I'm snarky and speculative, I'd say the reason why is obvious — full disclosure inhibits cheating, and the MSM aren't interested in whether KE2004 is cheating.)

Mr. Bear also continues his fascinating charting of internet interest in the SwiftVets vs. Kerry controversy, and I take the liberty of stealing reprinting at my own bandwidth expense his final chart:

Legs?  Yes, I think we can all see the legs now.

Posted by Beldar at 08:52 PM in Politics (2006 & earlier), SwiftVets | Permalink


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(1) Pat Curley made the following comment | Aug 21, 2004 10:05:47 PM | Permalink

I think it's more damaging to present the non-compliance rate--7% for Bush/Cheney, 24% for Kerry/Edwards; really highlights the difference a little better.

(2) Molon Labe made the following comment | Aug 21, 2004 10:59:27 PM | Permalink

The graph exaggerates the trend by starting the ordinate axis at 2000.

(3) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 21, 2004 11:36:35 PM | Permalink

Both valid points, thanks!

Re the graph, though, as one who pays for bandwidth, I'm not a fan of empty white space. This one's clearly labeled along both axes. Yes, like any graph it could be manipulated by changing the scale or the starting or ending points on either axis. One can quibble, but I think Mr. Bear's graph conveys the trend direction and rate of change accurately and with reasonable fairness.

Besides, I just like the concept of a bear making any sort of graph (even if from a technical standpoint it's less impressive than the blogospheric ecosystem). Just one other large mammal's opinion, of course.

(4) Molon Labe made the following comment | Aug 22, 2004 12:30:02 AM | Permalink

Yes, I was quibbling over the axis. But we must resist the desire to overstate the case. Just the facts. The slightest inconsistency or overstatement is ammunition for the sycophant media. To wit:

1) The unqualified use of the term "self-inflicted" - that is, by acceding to the desire to connote intent rather than negligence - gave Chrissy the opportunity to lampoon SBVT claims in the "Malkin Incident".

2) The overwrought description of the VC in the Silver Star incident as a loincloth clad teen gives Rood an easy target. Watch: the discrepancy in his attire *will* be used against us, either directly or as a basis for a "fog of war" argument.

3) Thurlow's speculation that Kerry had a secret plan to gedunk medals and get out early. That is obviously what happened, but speculating on intent only mires you down in their muck.

(5) Beldar made the following comment | Aug 22, 2004 1:20:19 AM | Permalink

Points well made and well taken, Molon, thank you!

(6) YouGottaBeKidding made the following comment | Aug 22, 2004 6:58:58 AM | Permalink


Actually, the graph is done properly. I've taught a basic college-level course in exploratory data analysis (graphics) and this graph follows all the basic graphics principles.

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