Enjoy your petard, Senator

After all, you worked for it:

John McCain has a campaign finance problem. When his campaign was down and out, he agreed to take public funding for the primaries. Public funding comes with spending limits overall and by state. Also, a candidate who accepts funding cannot raise money from private sources. Now that it is possible he will be the nominee, McCain will want to be free of those fundraising and spending limits, but he cannot withdraw from the public system.

At least, not without a pass from the Federal Election Commission, but that isn’t happening:

The FEC does not now have a quorum to meet and regulate. (The lack of a quorum was caused by Barack Obama’s hold on a nominee to the FEC, but never mind).

He could always refuse public funding for the post-convention campaign:

[H]owever, he pledged to accept public funding for the general election if his opponent did so. Obama has taken a similar pledge. Also, McCain would get around some of this by using “outside groups” (527 groups and others) to fund his effort, but he has been a fierce critic of such groups and tactics.

Of course. They wouldn’t play his way.

Maybe he can borrow a few bucks from his old pal Russ Feingold.

(Via Coyote Blog.)


  1. Kay Dennison »

    1 February 2008 · 11:03 pm

    I’m laughing here. I love seeing this. Even funnier is this video of queen b*tch Anne Coulter on Hannity & Colmes saying that if McCain gets the Republican nomination, she’s campaigning for Hillary!


    Watch it and giggle, Chaz!

  2. Matt »

    2 February 2008 · 4:40 am

    (The lack of a quorum was caused by Barack Obama’s hold on a nominee to the FEC, but never mind)

    Yeah, never mind, because it’s not true. Obama and many other Democratic senators will not confirm Hans von Spakovsky for a term on the FEC because, well, his entire career is about trying to stop Democratic-leaning voters from voting, up to and including writing “anonymous” articles praising his voter suppression tactics, and then referencing those articles when writing under his own name as evidence that he’s right.

    The Senate has made clear it will vote on the other three nominees immediately, but the Republicans won’t allow it. They demand that all four current nominees be voted on in a single block and accepted en masse or rejected the same way, when three of them are not objectionable to the Senate and would pass with majorities of 70+ votes.

    Bush knows this, and like the petulant child he is (who doesn’t like supervision anyway), he’s happy to shut down the FEC rather than remove the odiously unqualified von Spakovsky’s name from consideration, even though Hans has completed his recess appointment at the FEC, packed up his office, and given up.

    This was, by the way, a two-way street. John Edwards was in the same boat, but he’s now suspended his campaign, so it’s less of a problem for him. But both McCain and Edwards had to face the possibility that a non-functional FEC meant that they’d have trouble even getting the payments, since the commission couldn’t vote to authorize them.

    Restoring honor and dignity to Washington for seven-plus years now—

  3. Mark Alger »

    2 February 2008 · 10:49 am

    McNutty can’t borrow from Feingold. That would be a private source, which is barred according to FEC regs, as I understand it.

    Tee. And then: hee.


  4. CGHill »

    2 February 2008 · 3:03 pm

    Well, Tapped is certainly happy to give Obama credit for blocking Spakovsky’s appointment, and they don’t like him any better than you do, Matt — the term “vote-suppression hack” came up — so I don’t feel compelled to take issue with Cato on this particular brouhaha.

    Of course, I’d like to see the FEC turned into a drive-through restaurant, but that’s another matter entirely.

  5. McGehee »

    2 February 2008 · 5:10 pm

    Personally, I think the idea of John McCain’s campaign being hamstrung by an agency he’s tried to turn into a political IRS, is Teh Beautifull Irony™.

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