McCain hoisted by his own campaign finance petard

posted at 8:33 am on February 22, 2008 by Michelle

Well, well, well:

The nation’s top federal election official told Sen. John McCain yesterday that he cannot immediately withdraw from the presidential public financing system as he had requested, a decision that threatens to dramatically restrict his spending until the general election campaign begins in the fall.

The prospect of being financially hamstrung by the very fundraising system he helped create is the latest in a series of bitter challenges for the presumed GOP nominee, who still faces a fractured conservative coalition as he assumes the mantle of party leadership.

The warning from the FEC campaign after McCain launched his Silky-like fund-raising appeal in the wake of the NYT attack:

Within hours of the article’s publication, McCain sought to turn it to his advantage, sending out a fundraising appeal decrying the “baseless attacks” and urging contributions. “With your immediate help today, we’ll be able to respond and defend our nominee from the liberal attack machine,” McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, said in an e-mail.

But McCain’s attempts to build up his campaign coffers before a general election contest appeared to be threatened by the stern warning yesterday from Federal Election Commission Chairman David M. Mason, a Republican. Mason notified McCain that the commission had not granted his Feb. 6 request to withdraw from the presidential public financing system.

The implications of that could be dramatic. Last year, when McCain’s campaign was starved for cash, he applied to join the financing system to gain access to millions of dollars in federal matching money. He was also permitted to use his FEC certification to bypass the time-consuming process of gathering signatures to get his name on the ballot in several states, including Ohio.

By signing up for matching money, McCain agreed to adhere to strict state-by-state spending limits and an overall limit on spending of $54 million for the primary season, which lasts until the party’s nominating convention in September. The general election has a separate public financing arrangement.

But after McCain won a series of early contests and the campaign found its financial footing, his lawyer wrote to the FEC requesting to back out of the program — which is permitted for candidates who have not yet received any federal money and who have not used the promise of federal funding as collateral for borrowing money.

The consequences:

If the FEC refuses McCain’s request to leave the system, his campaign could be bound by a potentially debilitating spending limit until he formally accepts his party’s nomination. His campaign has already spent $49 million, federal reports show. Knowingly violating the spending limit is a criminal offense that could put McCain at risk of stiff fines and up to five years in prison.

Hoisted by his own campaign finance petard.

Can’t say I’m reaching for the Kleenex.


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saiga on February 22, 2008 at 2:32 PM

I, too, have spent a lot of time at the Texas border. My biggest concern about a border fence is that it’ll be a huge waste of money – if someone wants in, they’ll climb it or tunnel it. They’ll find a way. My second concern is that a border fence infringes upon the rights of the landowners. WHERE will it get built? On private land? What about water rights? Do we lose the Rio Grande to Mexico? Or, do we just build it down the middle of the damned river???

It’s not that I don’t like the IDEA of a fence, it’s just that I don’t think it’ll WORK.

pullingmyhairout on February 22, 2008 at 2:51 PM

BWHAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

What goes around comes around sir John. You dip$hit.

I know, I know, this is good for the democrats and all.

But not so deep down inside, I am loving watching this jackball and Hillary get what they deserve!

Now before any of you say it, yes I know this may mean a walk in for Obama. And yes I want to avoid that at all costs.

But, but, BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

conservnut on February 22, 2008 at 2:51 PM

pullingmyhairout on February 22, 2008 at 2:51 PM

Finally, common f’n sense.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 2:54 PM

I think the best solution is to make the U.S. unattractive to illegal immigrants. Take away the anchor baby thing, no free education or healthcare to illegal immigrants. Basically, take away the entitlements. Require immigrants to learn english AND have a job for more than 1 year before they can become citizens (maybe even on a trial basis).

All I know is that here in South Texas, and especially on the border, our economy depends on the flow of people back and forth. To put up a fence will only hurt Americans down here. There will be A LOT of lost commerce in the border cities.

pullingmyhairout on February 22, 2008 at 2:55 PM

I feel sorry for John McCain.

AprilOrit on February 22, 2008 at 2:57 PM

lets SEND TROOPS ACROSS THE BORDER ALL THE WAY TO THE CAPITOL AND KICK SOME ASS ON THESE PUNKS!!!!

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 2:42 PM

No way. Mexico is like a fine wine that will take many many years to get up to speed. Like I said before, in Spanish, you don’t say “I missed the plane”, you say “the plane left without me”. You don’t say” I dropped the glass, you say “the glass slipped out of my hand”

I believe that this trait of the Spanish language produces a different standard on “personal responsability” than English does. That, I believe is also a contributor to the replete corruption of most Latin American Countries. We simply can’t assimilate millions upon millions upon millions of unregulated immigrants pouring into our country that do not share our underlying principal of the rule of law and right and wrong.

I don’t want to invade Mexico at all. They need to grow as a society and culture within their own enviornment. We can’t force feed what they need down there.

saiga on February 22, 2008 at 3:00 PM

pullingmyhairout on February 22, 2008 at 2:55 PM

I was all for Maverick, but I think I finally found my candidate.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 3:01 PM

We can’t force feed what they need down there.

That’s what the Japanese, Germans, Koreans, Afghans, and Iraqis said.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 3:05 PM

pullingmyhairout on February 22, 2008 at 2:55 PM

I don’t disagree at all. But, if building a fence is the only thing that will pass the congress as a deterant, something is better than nothing.

I too have been in El Paso durring rush hour. The bumper to bumber traffic going both ways is staggering. Laredo is the ame way, as are all the crossings in the Valley.

But if you notice, there is also a fence to keep crossing people at the legitimate border crossing points. It is illegals getting past the 30 mile internal checkpoints that is a problem. As far as I know, any Mexican citizen can cross the border to shop in Laredao, El Paso, Or Brownsville. Its getting past “Checkpoint Charlie” that I think constitutes a violation, but I could be wrong.

saiga on February 22, 2008 at 3:08 PM

Yep. Had this coming for years. No tears here, either.

And the fearsome Maverick McNixon can go it alone, too. You’ll get my vote, Johnny, but you ain’t getting a dollar.

spmat on February 22, 2008 at 3:13 PM

That’s what the Japanese, Germans, Koreans, Afghans, and Iraqis said.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 3:05 PM

A little different situation. None of those guys were our nextdoor neighbors. Aren’t you the one worried about working smart? If we break it we own it. That plan would create a flood 10 times bigger than we have now.

Getting here from Germany, Korea, Afgahanistan, or Japan is a little larger effort than walking 100 feet.

saiga on February 22, 2008 at 3:13 PM

Well, I just think that the immigration issue is much larger than the “just build a fence and it’ll all go away” mentality. And I still think that a fence usurps the property and water rights of the U.S. landowners along the border.

And Chosen, thanks for your vote!!! :)

pullingmyhairout on February 22, 2008 at 3:39 PM

saiga on February 22, 2008 at 3:13 PM

We had the same problem here during the “gilded age” with Caregie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and of course the worst of all J.P. Morgan. Basically ten guys controlled ninety percent of the world’s wealth. We handled it internally with Teddy Rooselt and his trustbusting. They have had way too long for their own Rooseveltos to step up and it hasn’t happened. Time to invade.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 3:46 PM

Obama wants to send my husband to Darfur.

Chosen wants to send my husband to Mexico.

No gracias, senor.

funky chicken on February 22, 2008 at 3:48 PM

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 3:46 PM

We couldn’t even get Pancho Villa. But, I agree we have to do much more to hold Mexico’s feet to the fire. I don’t like a fence and taking away peoples property rights and such, and I know people will continue to flood in here if Mexico doesn’t clean itself up.

Surely there are some tough incentives we can put on Mexico to push them to step up.

saiga on February 22, 2008 at 3:52 PM

Looks like the woman that killed all those people in the bus wreck in Minnesota was an illegal.

What a surprize.

saiga on February 22, 2008 at 4:05 PM

slowed them down

entagor on February 22, 2008 at 2:40 PM

Notice slowed them down not stopped them.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 2:46 PM

The only way to stop people from trying anything is to lock them up. Since we have a Constitution that makes people innocent until proven guilty, they have to try to climb the spiky thingies at the White House before we can arrest them.

There are strategic boundaries around the White House further out than the spikey thingies that make a sprinter a subject of Secret Service scrutiny, but once someone crosses an imaginary line drawn around the White House, although they may have enter the radius of threat, they have a clean run until they hit the spiky thingies.

Inside Mexico, the Mexican government can pre-emptively arrest people. Anyone in Mexico can be held in jail just for being a witness to a traffic accident

But, alas we are not in Mexico, so we cannot stop people on the Mexican side of the spikey thingies

We can plug them with ammo once they are on our side, but it is much cleaner to pluck them off the spikey thingies

We have a government right now that is building a prosperity superhighway from Mexico to Michigan. Because we cannot even build a chain link fence across our border, it was impossible for Americans to build this multi lane superhighway across the breadth of America, so we had to contract out the job to a Spanish company.

The solution is obvious, the Spanish company would look at a chain link fence across the border as child’s play after building rapido the multi lane super highway. They speak Spanish so they would know if a Spaniard or a Mexican was clinging to the spiky thingies.

And the islamists like Spaniards now, so they will let them build in peace, salaam

entagor on February 22, 2008 at 4:52 PM

funky chicken on February 22, 2008 at 3:48 PM

He would be home in fourty eight hours. With duty free tequila!!!!

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Still at it, Chosen One?

Sheeesh. Don’t you have a job?

Saltysam on February 22, 2008 at 5:36 PM

Saltysam on February 22, 2008 at 5:36 PM

Male Model. Limited hours, great pay, lots of chics.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 6:20 PM

First question you’ve answered. And it sounds like a lie. Why am I not surprised?

Saltysam on February 22, 2008 at 6:36 PM

Envy trumps belief.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 6:51 PM

Honesty trumps bravado.

Saltysam on February 22, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Honesty trumps bravado.

Saltysam on February 22, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Facts trump all.

And the fact is McCain is getting a taste of his own medicine.

eanax on February 22, 2008 at 7:35 PM

eanax on February 22, 2008 at 7:35 PM

Yep!

Saltysam on February 22, 2008 at 7:39 PM

Think this will make McCain think twice about laws he hopes to impose on the American people?

Nah, me neither.

sulla on February 23, 2008 at 2:04 AM

Exactly, no need for big bad fence, you can patrol the border with drones, cameras, whatever. Big bad fence too costly, too ugly, too time consuming, too reactionary. In the end though, tamper proof id and prosecuting illigal hiring dries up that ol’ well.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 22, 2008 at 2:04 PM

Big problem with your assertion — you assume that all coming across the border are only doing so, as we’ve all heard before, “to find work that Americans won’t do.”

Wrong.

There’s a lot of criminal element and activity working its way across that border as well. Do some research on what law enforcement deals with regarding illegals in the Southwest U.S., in particular.

eanax on February 23, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Not only will Juan “Z-Visa” McCain NOT have enough money(no grassroots donations), “Z-Visa” won’t be getting volunteers either.

STAY HOME ’08

DfDeportation on February 23, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Hey “Z-Visa”,

Go f*** yourself and build me my goddam fence….uh…I mean banana.

DfDeportation on February 23, 2008 at 1:06 PM

DfDeportation on February 23, 2008 at 1:06 PM

You aren’t getting your Berling/Great Wall with watchtowers.

Oh, and please stay home. No crybabies allowed.

THE CHOSEN ONE on February 23, 2008 at 5:39 PM

I think my comment in support of John McCain on this point bears repeating.

Kralizec on February 23, 2008 at 9:11 PM

What goes around comes around

PrezHussein on February 25, 2008 at 7:32 PM

Me either Michelle, me either. I can use the back of my hand to wipe off a smile but it keeps coming back…
Yea, karma is a female dog that follows you home, gets into the trash and spreads it all over the lawn, concealing the piles she leaves there and then barks all night long.
It’s a force of nature.

Christine on February 26, 2008 at 1:32 PM

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