March 27th, 2008
10:12 AM ET
15 years ago

Liberal bloggers file complaint over McCain's spending

ALT TEXT

Abbi Tatton reports on the latest FEC headache for John McCain.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A group of liberal bloggers filed a complaint to the Federal Election Commission, saying Sen. John McCain is breaking campaign finance law.

The McCain campaign reported spending $58 million this election cycle, which is a few million more than what is permitted for candidates who commit to public financing in the primaries.

Led by bloggers at Firedoglake and DailyKos, the group submitted a complaint to the FEC on Tuesday, and is asking for more signatures online to be added to another, larger complaint.

McCain signed up for the guaranteed public money last year, but in February, his campaign wrote a letter to the FEC announcing he would turn down government matching funds for his primary campaign.

FEC Chair David Mason replied that the four commissioners must first vote in favor of the withdrawal request - a development which is not possible right now, as vacancies leave only two commissioners in the FEC.

A McCain campaign official says the complaint is "frivolous and without merit."

Last month, the Democratic National Committee filed a similar FEC complaint against McCain, charging that he was not eligible to withdraw from the public financing system and the strict spending limits it requires.

–CNN's Eric Weisbrod and Abbi Tatton


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Just like Bush, McCain will do whatever he wants regardless of the rules and laws. This is just a sign of what's to come.....

    March 27, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Amused, Las Vegas

    A McCain campaign official says the complaint is "frivolous and without merit."

    Wasn't McCain the champion of campaign finance reform? Are the rules not Meant to apply to him?

    Maybe he did not foresee the consequences of the rules, but this does not excuse breaking them.

    March 27, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. fullbodytransplant

    Between this, and the Rush Limbo Republicans who are going to get arrested for crossing over to vote Hillary?

    I gotta say it was a good day.

    March 27, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. NIC

    It's so funny that the problems and concerns we have today in politics is mainly caused by the media and the constant depictions of what they have and show, over and over and over and over again. The media constantly showing and discussing things that's are irrelevant/small and ignoring the things that matter the most/importance.
    I 100% believe in freedom of the press, but I do think there is a line that shouldn't be crossed. Who really knows where that line is, each network draws its own line. But one thing is for sure, and i'm sure many people believe this, that the modern day press is this huge monster we’ve created and cant seem to get any control on it. Instead of the presidential candidates debating and pointing out difference, the media seem to step in (ALL THE TIME) and instigates and forces division and divide (causing arguments and verbal negative fighting). Media should try to info and help the political situation, not ruin it or make it worse. Things are a mess now. Seem like people are more concerned with the bickering that media portrays Hillary and Barack then the huge, disastrous situation our country is in because of the last 7 year under Bush administration. Social Security and Medicare are running out of money because Bush took tax payer dollar and spend it in Iraq, that trillions and trillions of dollars. Just a small portion of that would of fixed both problems. I guess the current President doesn't think this is important. Nor does the media. Food for thought people.

    March 27, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Carolyn

    Maybe we should also file a complaint for dismissal of Obama. His baggage is heavy from start to finish. Lobbyist don't touch his earmarks either. (Rezko payback for political funding for one:)

    March 27, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Go HILL!

    OMG.......I take it the Liberals are now very afraid of McCain?

    March 27, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. Texas Independent

    Ok...now let's get the details on the Peter Paul vs Clinton case that is pending in California made front and center news too.

    Why doesn't CNN and other media address that ongoing case?

    March 27, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Gavin

    John McCain may be on his honeymoon right now

    but it won't last...

    Hillary will quickly take care of that fantasyland the day she wins the nominations.

    We need a FIGHTER against McCain, because we all know he will get into the gutter politics.

    Voting Hillary May 6th in Indiana !

    HOOSIERS 4 HILLARY

    March 27, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Chuck in Oregon

    Come on DNC and you liberal bloggers. Do you want a fair election where the candidates can compete on a level playing field or do you want to cripple one man in favor of his competetor? The question is althought he filed for matching funds did he in fact accept any money prior to changing his mind? If the answer is NO, then let this alone and let the candidates compete and may the best person in the eyes of the voting public win.

    March 27, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. MIKE IN CHICAGO

    Anyone you thinks Hillary will change politics if she gets in is dead wrong. Just look closely at her campaign. Same old, same old. Hillary and Bill lost all my respect and vote.

    March 27, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Kirk

    This is pretty funny, the man who wrote the biggest recent abridgement of the first amendment has run afoul of his own law! Is this guy really the best the Republicans had to offer?

    March 27, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Arlington, TX

    McCain, like President Bush make up the law as he see fit.

    March 27, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  13. Matthew

    Puerto Rico Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila, superdelegate and Barack Obama supporter, was charged Thursday with 19 counts in a campaign finance probe, including conspiracy to violate U.S. federal campaign laws and giving false testimony to the FBI.

    More change we can believe in!

    March 27, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. therealist

    YAAAAAWWWWNNNNN!!!!

    March 27, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    How can McCain first apply for Federal campaign cash and then not take it? There was a report on NPR about the question raised about the possiblity of McCain using the Federal funds as collateral for another loan. Even the appearance of this raises doubts on McCain's abilty to be an honest man. How well is this campaign being planned? He may have secured the nomination, but he hasn't done enough planning. Maybe his election campaign is like Rumsfeld's planning of the conflict in Iraq...

    I guess the other question is did he actually get any federal money for his campaign? If he did, what was it spent on and when? All of these are serious questions.

    March 27, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  16. robert

    Just wait until McCain gets a hold of her.It will be 1999 all over again.

    March 27, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  17. McCain Fiengold slippery slope

    McCain will lose his standing as the "maverick" as he is forced to circumvent his own campaign finance laws. Even the appearence of impropriety is enough to derail his legitimacy. Let's see how he walks this line... All of the other candidates in his party denounced McCain Fiengold. Can he find a VP who supports it on record?

    March 27, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  18. Darth Vadik, CA

    ABOUT TIME SOMEBODY BROUGHT THIS FORWARD.

    McCAIN BROKE THE LAW, SIMPLE AND TO THE POINT.

    ....and he hasn't even becomer president yet, I shutter to think what this mad man would do as a president.

    March 27, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  19. Tex

    We don't have to be liberals or bloggers or Democrats or Republicans to be sick and tired of politicians breaking the elections laws like McCain and thinking that the laws don't apply to them.

    Republican politicos do seem to have a lock on being the most hypocritical when it comes to tauting their family families, their Christianity and respect for law and order and then thumbing their noses at the American public as they flaunt "do as I say, not as I do" life practices.

    They afterall are the party of Rove, Bush, Gingerich, Limbaugh, etc., etc., etc. and etc.

    March 27, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  20. Robert in Toronto,ON

    Riiiiiiight...the guy who can't control the spending on his own campaign, is gonna fix the U.S economy.

    Man, if I was living in America – Canada would be looking pretty good right about now.

    C'mon over! We have plenty of room, ice cold beer, and Canadian bacon.

    March 27, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. No Way

    Nice smear tactic. Make sure this gets on the front page of every liberal news network, because I'm sure it will. Then we'll discover that none of the allegations are true, and that he technically stayed within the range, but CNN you will have done your liberal part to try to take down John McCain. Unlike the allegations against Clinton and Obama, which are pretty much ALWAYS true, almost every allegation against McCain has proven inflammatory and misleading. Again, nice try.

    March 27, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  22. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I would like it if it was true – McCain would be punished (and if true...the election commission should be fired as it took a pair of liberal bloggers to report this) – at the same token....I would really a non-partisan commission to study the Clintons to see if the continued financial support of the Chinese government led to the sale of ballistic missile technology to them during his Administration (not hers...as she was never president....HRC supporters...do you think she "misspoke"...again?)

    March 27, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. CHERYL

    THIS IS ALL PETTY!

    WE NEED TO FOCUS ON WHO THE BEST PERSON IS FOR THE JOB!

    McCAIN WILL CONTINUE THE WAR!

    OBAMA HAS TOO MUCH SCANDAL TO WIN!!!!!

    SENATOR CLINTON HAS A STIMULUS PACKAGE AND IS TRYING TO HELP PEOPLE WITH LOSING THEIR HOMES!!!!

    WHO IS THE WORKING CANDIDATE?

    VERY SIMPLE::::::: HILLARY CLINTON!!!!!!!!!

    March 27, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. CHERYL

    OBAMA WILL LOSE TO McCAIN NO QUESTION!!!!!

    THE GOP ARE CIRCLING AND WAITING!!!!!!

    MONEY CANNOT BUY TRUST!!!!!!!

    GO HILLARY 2009!!!!!!

    March 27, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  25. ALBO

    These Individual should send the complaint to the US Senate, which has violated its obligation to maintain the FEC operative, Or should McCain suspend his activities as long as the Democratic majority
    dign itself to do so ??

    THIS IS A NEW EXAMPLE OF THE CLINTONS DESPERATION AND
    LACK OF TRANSPARENCY. AS THEY OBVIOUSLY KNOW THAT SUCH COMPLAINT HAS NO SUBSTANCE, THEY TRY ANYWAY TO
    PERFORM A PUBLIC RELATION STUNT AND HIDE BEHIND BLOGGERS (!!).
    AND OF COURSE: THE MEDIA, EVEN IF KNOWING BETTER, WILL GRAB ANY HANDLE TO GET SOME ADDITIONAL RATING !!

    ALBO

    March 27, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
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