DNC To File FEC Complaint Against McCain Camp
The Democratic National Committee announced this morning that it will file a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission against the McCain campaign. The DNC alleges the McCain camp committed itself to receiving public funding from the FEC’s matching funds program during the primaries. The campaign used anticipated money from the program as collateral for loans when it was struggling financially last fall. The DNC argues that McCain’s campaign organization then violated FEC rules when it subsequently rejected public funding in February, after Sen. John McCain had won the Iowa primary and began to re-emerge as a front-runner. His empty coffers filled, and the campaign was in far better financial shape. It ignored the $54 million primary spending limit.
This will be the second time the DNC has filed a complaint against the McCain camp on the issue. According to Politico:
The committee first issued a complaint to the FEC in February, but In April a federal judge ruled that, even though the FEC lacked a quorum, they still could convene before the end of the 120 days they’re given to examine complaints.
Now, with those 120 days expiring on June 24, the DNC is acting again in hopes a judge will compel the FEC to act on their complaint, as is allowed by law…
First, though, the FEC needs to have sufficient members to form a quorum. With one nominee having withdrawn from consideration last month, the Senate appears to be finally ready to confirm additional commissioners in the next few weeks.
McCain was the co-author of the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign reform act, which sought to reduce the influence of special-interest money in campaigning. McCain has indicated he will accept public funding for the general election. If the FEC takes action against the McCain campaign, it will give the Democrats a new front on which to attack McCain’s credibility as a government reformer.