FEC Examines McCain’s Excessive Donors
With a Republican National Committee lawyer calling on the Federal Elections Commission to investigate the Obama campaign for accepting contributions in excess of federal limits, the FEC is looking into dozens of excessive donations to the McCain campaign as well, reports The Washington Post.
Following a Newsweek report that the commission flagged some donors to Sen. Barack Obama for exceeding contribution limits with numerous small donations using fake names, Sean Cairncross, RNC chief counsel, yesterday accused the Obama campaign of “looking the other way” on excessive contributions. Newsweek reported the Obama campaign has since returned the donations in question. From the Post:
The FEC sent a letter to Sen. John McCain’s campaign treasurer Sept. 30 demanding the candidate turn over more information about “contributions that appear to exceed the limits.”
The letter is accompanied by a nine-page list showing scores of overages from [Sen. John] McCain’s August campaign finance report, including nearly $13,000 from Texas rancher Ray R. Barrett Jr.; $9,200 from an Iraqi security consultant, H. Carter Andress; and $5,000 from Joseph F. Davolio, an executive at a major national liquor, beer, and wine distributor.
“Please inform the Commission of your corrective action immediately in writing and provide photocopies of any refund checks and/or letters reattributing or redesignating the contributions in question,” the letter from the FEC’s senior campaign finance analyst, Leah S. Palmer, says. “The acceptance of excessive contributions is a serious problem.”
It appears that the Newsweek article comes at a very convenient time for the McCain campaign — it lent a little political cover to lessen the blow from a potentially embarrassing revelation.
However, there seems to be a pattern developing here:
Perhaps it is true that the surest sign that the McCain campaign is guilty of something is if it accuses the Obama camp of the same deed.