Campaign Finance Bites the Hand That Made It
February 26, 2008 1:26 PM Subscribe
posted by shivohum (32 comments total)
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Last year, as McCain's campaign seemed stumbling into the grave, it applied for federal matching funds for the primary season. After Super Tuesday, McCain withdrew from the system. Or did he? If he didn't, he's capped at $54 million to spend till September -- and he's already spent $50 million of it. Former FEC Chairman Brad Smith tells, in bravura detail, the whole whirling story.
(via Election Law Blog
McCain attempted to withdraw not having received any matching funds. Receiving any funds would have locked him into the system. He did, however, obtain a loan in December 2007 which pledged as collateral -- not the federal matching funds he had already qualified for, as that would legally lock him into the system -- federal matching funds which he would receive as a result of pledging, in the loan documents, to reenter
the matching funds system if he dropped out of it in December and subsequently did poorly in New Hampshire! Now there's a question of whether he can actually withdraw or not.
Meanwhile, the FEC lacks a quorum to make a ruling, and Obama put a hold on nominees who might have given it a quorum. And there are other complications, like how entering the matching system might have put McCain on the Ohio ballot at minimal expense.
Brad Smith's conclusion: the law is way too complicated.