Democratic Party to refuse lobbyist donations

Today Howard Dean announced that the DNC would not be taking donations from lobbyists or PACs in order to align itself with Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama’s policy. The following is from an e-mail sent from Dean to members of the Democratic Party mailing list:

Dear (recipient),

I wanted to drop you a quick note about a major policy change here at the Democratic Party.

As we move toward the general election, the Democratic Party has to be the Party of ordinary Americans, not Washington lobbyists and special interests. So, as of this morning, if you’re a federal lobbyist, or if you control political action committee donations, we won’t be accepting your contribution.

This is an unprecedented move for a political party to make — one that has sent shockwaves through Washington and has turned the debate on clean campaigns upside down. We’ve unilaterally agreed to shut lobbyists out of the process, and are we’re relying on people just like you.

Just imagine what hundreds of thousands of Americans donating $20, $30, or $50 at a time can accomplish together. Imagine the signal that it sends to anyone who looks at John McCain’s political machine and the special interest money it needs to fuel every move it makes.

This is a pretty monumental development in American politics and one only hopes that it continues after Barack Obama’s campaign. This is hopefully only one of many examples of change that Sen. Obama hopes to bring to Washington.