August 21st, 2008
02:45 PM ET
14 years ago

FEC lets McCain off the matching funds hook

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. McCain campaigned in New Mexico Wednesday."]
(CNN) – In a unanimous decision Thursday, the Federal Election Commission granted a request from John McCain’s campaign to withdraw from a program that provides presidential candidates with matching funds during the primary season.

The Democratic National Committee filed a complaint with the FEC earlier this year after the McCain campaign announced that it was withdrawing from the primary season matching funds program, in a bid to avoid spending restrictions that would have resulted if they participated. Democrats argued that the McCain camp could not legally opt out after obtaining a $4 million line of credit using the prospect of the public matching funds as collateral, and could not unilaterally withdraw without approval from the FEC, which did not have a voting quorum for much of the year. The party also called for an FEC investigation of McCain’s campaign finances.

The McCain campaign had said that the possibility of receiving public matching funds was not in reality the collateral for the line of credit that kept the Arizona senator’s campaign afloat.

The DNC has not yet said whether they will continue to press for a federal investigation.

Filed under: FEC • John McCain
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. People make no sense

    McWar needs to explain how he was dumb enough to get caught early in his military career, and spent a long war not fighting but being held captive. Wow what a hero. No guns blazing – shoot your way out of anything – defend America. Just tortured spilling your guts against America. Through diplomatic means, and his father power he was allowed to live. It's laughable that people consider him a hero and strong on war. He spent his time in captivity during war. Is that what he plans to teach us? He was flying a plane he was too dumb to know how to fly and got shot down. Maybe if he wasn't a C student he would have been able to learn the technics to manuever out of position and not get shot down. My grandfather flew endless hours fighting in the same war and he came back a *Real American Hero*.

    August 21, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. Spencer

    I 100% agree with you Boatman.

    August 21, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. PolitcoMike


    August 21, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Great decision making, McCain. Useful and decisive...but kinda late don't ya think? Where is that 3:00 AM phone call "intelligence" you keep telling us you have?

    Heck, you've been asleep during your campaign financing for the last six months. How are EVER gonna run a nation?

    BTW: Your turn to get the rocks throw at you that you threw at Obama when he opted out. HYPOCRITE!

    August 21, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Obama, there you go again. You 'won' your first election by playing games with the rules. You won your nomination the same way. Now you tried it with McCain and failed. You and Howard Dean, two yahoos cut from the same cloth.

    August 21, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. theflyonthewall

    Riiiiiiight, after Obama did it first... so of course the DNC and the Obamatons want to hold the opposition candidate to the agreement that The Chosen One already backed out of....

    August 21, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. Senator AWOL McCain rarely votes but collects salary and social security

    Who loaned him the money? Charles Keating and Lincoln Savings?

    Couldn't he just borrow the money from Cindy Stepford?

    August 21, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. onlinesavant

    And it's patently ILLEGAL for a candidate to accept mathching funds and then use private money in the window with which he/she is suppossed to use public funds. No If and's or But's about it. It is illegal. McSame should either be fined heavily, or go to jail . And why isn't Blitzer talking about this ad nauseum on the "Situation Room"?!

    August 21, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. Raymond Duke

    Darn Obama : you cannot get him eliminated before the voting takes place like you did for the Illnios senate. You might have to actually run against someone. Maybe they ought to investigate all these overseas donations that you are getting that cannot be tracked. I hear your campagin is handing out money in phildephia for votes. I guess you do need a lot of money. By the way Cnn I love the article about McCains ad on Obama the one. You take all the Obama bloggers and delete the supporters of McCain. Of course that is standard for certain writers for Cnn. Can you say in the Tank.

    August 21, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  10. Delay man

    Why Didn’t McCain Call Ralph Reed To Testify During Abramoff Investigation?

    August 21, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. MLH

    Wow. More questionable practices to add to the list. I hope the DNC pushes this one all the way to the wall. So what does the McCain campaign say really was the collateral for the line of credit? Was it his houses?

    August 21, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  12. Stacy Clarks, TX



    August 21, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Cupper

    With the newest appointments to the FEC, the regulatory body is being put back together to exclude a Republican commissioner who took a critical stance toward McCain's manipulation of public financing.

    In one move, the White House ended McCain's accountability for his use or abuse of the primary public financing system while putting him in position to take money for the general.

    The Commissioner who acted to enforce the law, to just raise an important question of enforcement, has been stripped of his post. A raw power play, done in the interest of McCain to have the FEC, back in business minus Mason, and to arrange for his money for the fall campaign.

    Bravo Bush. Bravo.

    Gosh I wish reporters did their jobs.


    August 21, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Mark

    Thank-God for Mr. McCain!!! Keep fighing for us and send that slug Obama home!!

    August 21, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Shady

    Wow, shady pos republicans, what else is new...

    August 21, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. steve

    well in this case he's taking a page straight from nobama's book, who called for complete public financing back when everyone knew he was a lark, before the whole coronation thing began. then as soon as enough white people were scared of being called racist if they didn't support him, suddenly he was a celebrity and decided to flipflop out of public financing to dodge spending limits

    August 21, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. Lacy

    Is this related to the public financing thing that McCain was so found of criticizing Obam for? Now he flipping and following suit?

    What's next, McCain is gonna flip and follow Obama/Bush (can't believe it) on a timeline for withdrawl from Iraq?

    August 21, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Biffington, Biff

    amazing. simply astounding.

    rules? what rules.....?

    (four more years, guys)......

    August 21, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. eric b

    How can you be 72 years old and still a childish juvenile?

    Remember the 'Chelsea is ugly' joke?

    He's not presidential, he is a sophomoric moron.

    If it wasn't for his 'rich daddy' and his 'rich wife' he would be a total failure!

    Why do republicans keep sending us these silver spooned boys?

    August 21, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Obamalism

    In a unanimous decision...

    Yet another democratic investigation that did nothing but waste their time and our money.

    August 21, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  21. kendall

    McCain has insiders working for him, people from the FEC, CIA, White House, he's a Washington insider, and if you think that insiders don't need a draft to dedeat terrorism your sadly mistaken.

    McCain is politics of the past and for the average American that means we will live 1920 all over again, that the policy he want to pursue,

    Rich getting richer, poor gets poorer, and the poor makes up the military,

    August 21, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  22. Obamalism

    S.Boatman – I think you're confused on who's flipping and pandering.
    No one talks out both sides of their mouth better than Obama.

    August 21, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  23. aliou FL

    McCain can't seam to stick to anything he says or does. He can't stand by anyone except himself. It's all about McSame

    August 21, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  24. Gene

    What else is new, rules are being bent for the wealthy party. Because the GOP just can't stand having less money than the Obama. Two Americas people, let's face it.

    August 21, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. Gene, OH

    What else is new, rules are being bent for the wealthy party. Because the GOP just can't stand having less money than the Obama Campaign. Two Americas people, let's face it.

    August 21, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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