(CNN)— The Democratic National Committee on Tuesday pressed its formal complaint with federal election officials contesting Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain's effort to withdraw his intention to ask for public election funding.
“John McCain is posing as a reformer,” DNC Chairman Howard Dean told CNN’s John Roberts. “It turns out reform, as far as he's concerned, is good for everybody but him.”
The Democratic Party filed an official complaint against McCain Monday with the Federal Election Commission calling on them to investigate the Senators decision earlier this month to withdraw from the primary election’s public financing system.
According to FEC regulations, written exclusion is required before withdrawal from the matching funds program, but the McCain campaign argues they did not need written permission citing Dean’s 2003 Democratic campaign as an example.
In the statement released Tuesday the DNC highlights a significant difference between now and 2003 is not only Dean's prior permission from the FEC before withdrawing, but McCain’s use of the potential financing to get on the ballot free of charge in some states as a bank loan.
The McCain campaign flatly rejects that assertion.
The FEC responded to McCain's withdrawal letter by asking him to explain the terms of his private loan, but said the issue cannot be resolved until four vacancies on the commission are filled. Currently, the board that votes on these matters does not have a quorum.
McCain campaign attorney Trevor Potter, himself a former chairman of the FEC, filed a response Monday to the commission asserting there is no "security interest in any certification for matching funds."
Ultimately, withdrawing from public financing would allow the Republican presidential frontrunner to avoid spending limitations that would have hindered how much he could raise between now and National Convention in September. This, Dean says, has benefited McCain substantially.
Related: Watch Dean accuse McCain of skirting election laws
–CNN’s Emily Sherman, Paul Courson and Kate Boulduan