McCain’s “potential headache from the FEC” — it’s potentially criminal

John McCain claims to be the champion of campaign finance reform. That’s why his attempt to scam the campaign finance laws is an even more important story. The DNC filed its FEC complaint against McCain this morning. Violating the FEC’s campaign spending limits could result in criminal penalties.

The right wingers never liked campaign finance anyway — and it’s one of the reasons so many conservatives disliked McCain. So it must be bittersweet for them that McCain has boxed himself into a corner on campaign finance. Even the conservative National Review has clued into McCain’s “potential headache from the FEC”:

The key graphs of the New York Sun’s eye-opening story on John McCain potentially running into trouble with the FEC:

The case could have far-reaching implications for the fall campaign. A decision that forces Mr. McCain to remain in the public financing system for the primary or that finds him in violation of federal law could severely limit the amount of money he could spend in the six months leading up to the Republican nominating convention in late summer. The restriction would have the effect of giving the Democratic nominee a spending head start equal to tens of millions of dollars.

The situation is complicated by the current state of the FEC. Squabbling over presidential nominees between the Bush administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress has four of the six seats on the commission vacant. The panel therefore lacks the four commissioners required for a quorum and cannot rule definitively either on Mr. McCain’s attempt to withdraw from the system or on the forthcoming DNC complaint against him.

McCain has no more cred on campaign finance. None.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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