Will there really be less 527s this time around?

No more of these, please

The New York Times gave your writer a bit of hope for the coming months as he slogged through an article early this morning.

There are early signs, though, that some of the more controversial elements of recent presidential campaigns might be somewhat muted this time around.

On Thursday, the leader of Progressive Media USA, which had been expected to be the major vehicle on the Democratic side for unregulated donations directed toward television advertising, said the group would stand down because of disapproving signals from the Obama camp.

Similarly, the Republican side has not mounted a major “soft money” effort for the general election comparable to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which in 2004 undermined the presidential bid of Senator John Kerry. Many potential donors to such groups, which are able to skirt restrictions on donations, are wary of displeasing Mr. McCain, Republican operatives said.

Good news, if it does indeed happen. Also interesting is the reported logic within the Obama campaign on the public finance-pledge issue:

Mr. Obama’s fund-raising machine has been powered by more than 1.5 million donors, the overwhelming majority of whom have given to him in small increments over the Internet. Mr. Obama has argued that with this wide base of small donors, he has created something of a parallel system of public financing.

McCain to rely on party money – [The New York Times]

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