A few days after the Kerry campaign announced that it will not spend its money on TV ads during August, the Washington Post reports today that the Democratic Party "is planning a $50 million to $100 million advertising campaign in support of John F. Kerry, employing novel tactics to enable its presidential nominee to husband limited resources for use in the fall campaign against President Bush, party officials said Thursday." The Post adds that "the Democrats have adopted ambitious plans to take every advantage of the new campaign finance law, which allows the parties to mount independent expenditures on behalf of their nominees as long as the efforts are not coordinated with the candidates' campaigns." In a telling sign, however, the Post reports that after ceasing fundraising Thursday night, the Kerry campaign "linked its Web site to that of the DNC, in a bid to channel prospective donors to the party's fundraising operation." The New York Times adds that Democratic Party leaders "say they have devised a plan to compensate by embarking on a furious new round of fund-raising. Fresh from a bevy of receptions and fetes here for top fund-raisers, the Democratic National Committee plans to tap the fund-raising pool again with a drive to raise $100 million - more than $1 million a day - in contributions between now and Election Day."
Senior editorial page writer Kimberley Strassel writes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today that the "last pretense" of campaign finance reform has been "dumped" and that McCain-Feingold "has proved more of an embarrassment than even its critics predicted, taking the 'big money' that previously flowed to answerable politicians and neatly diverting it to unaccountable, shadowy groups, as well as stripping Americans of their free speech rights."