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. Tyler in Raleigh

    McCain continuing the Bush approach of lies and false promises. Now Bush's appointees pay him forward with this judgment so they can keep their jobs and power when he follows the rest of the Bush traditions.

    August 21, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  2. Cynthia

    The Straight Talk Express appears to still be in the ditch spinning its wheels trying to get out.

    What Senator McCain needs to do is go in and do the voice overs for bedtime stories for children – he certainly puts me to sleep.

    August 21, 2008 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. Disappointed in Mr. "Straight Talk"

    No straight talk in this man. If he hadn't "used" public funding – his campaign would have been over a long time ago. Why does cheating always seem to pay off for the Republicans?

    August 21, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Jimmy Morton

    That's quite underhanded. McCain used those funds to resuscitate his dying campaign in the primaries and lead it to an undeserved victory, and now that he's the presidential candidate, he's been absolved of the limitations that came with resorting to those funds in the first place! So much for a fair election. This is collusion.

    August 21, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Peter (CA)

    Somehow I am sure the right wingers will come up with some lame excuse as to why this is OK but Obama not wanting federal funding is a bad thing.

    August 21, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. NObama 2008

    Maybe they should investigate Obama's flip flop on this issue. Obama is as phony as a 3 dollar bill.

    August 21, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  7. Listen Up...

    As expected. AS IF he were just relying on those funds anyway! Obama was super smart to opt out. I can't stand McCain!

    August 21, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. McGaffe

    flip flop...another deception by the Bush clone...oh boy has Rove and Chaney trained their poodle well...whats next? more of the McCain is so sad that all you McCain kool aid drinkers have your heads still in the thought Bush did a job well wait until Mccain DRAFTS your sons and Daughters...FLIP FLOP FLIP FLOP FLIP FLOP......

    August 21, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Greg FL.

    After all the talk about Obama not taking matching funds he opts out too. I'm sure his excuse will be Obama did it, so I had to.

    August 21, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. anonymous

    S. Boatman – you're pathetic.

    August 21, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    First of all, this smacks of illegality, but since this is politics maybe that doesn't matter. Secondly and most important, where are the news hounds? When Obama opted out of public funds you'd the GOP made so much fuss you'd have thought Obama had broken all the commandments, instead of just the first ten.

    August 21, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. PhilT

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the fix is in.

    The administration is doing all it can to minimize Sen. Obama's influence on world affairs.

    The Iraq troop withdrawal agreement will be signed before this election is decided.

    The missile defense system agreement with Poland is a clear indication that the Bush/Cheney is willing to provoke a "crisis" with Russian to enhance the "need" for a self-proclaimed "foreign affairs expert" such as Sen. McCain who "knows how to win wars" .

    My fear is he will do that with a draft, this time taking male and female. The only ones who get out are those children of the power elite or medical deferments (e.g. Bush and Cheney).

    Will McCain be our next president? You figure it out.


    August 21, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  13. California Gold

    I don't like how this guy plays word games with money.

    August 21, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    Hey you cannot call this a flop without admiting that your Lord Obama did the same thing because he did.

    August 21, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  15. Susan

    One again, a Republican is off the hook!

    August 21, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. Terry, Lakeland Florida

    oh and lets talk about the K5 scandal. I'd post it there but CNN tends to close comments when they feel like it....which is normally within seconds. McCain was only included in the K5 because the left wing Dems wanted to include a non-dem. It should have been the K4 (All Dems) McCain was clear of all wrong doing and it's a well documented fact that he should never have been included in that scandal. How about you guys do some research, it only took me around 5 minutes to dig up all the facts…you should try fact finding sometimes.

    August 21, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. CRob

    So the DNC is complaing about the same thing they did months ago???

    August 21, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Rose

    At least McCain went through the proper channels, Obama is the one that flip-flopped and simply said he changed his mind. I guess that is the kind of change we can't believe in.

    August 21, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |


    August 21, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Joseph

    So we can lie on loan applications and NO ONE post this on their headlines. You guys are slanted! McCain said he would reinstate the military draft, lied on the loan application, can't remember how many houses he has, filp flop on everything from taxes, women's rights, oil drilling. He's been in corrupt scandles like SNL the Keaton 5 and according to him we won the Iraq war back in 2003 but none of you are reporting this. You guys drilled Obama for a month for something a pastor at his church said and for someone he knows commited a felony none of which has anything to do with him. If Obama did any of those things McCain has done it would leave your front page until Nov 1 at 11:59pm to make sure you've brainwashed enough people that he would lose by 50 states. This is sad because everyone knows this but you still do it.

    August 21, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Emilio

    I concur with S. Boatman and would like to add that the American people are smart enough to see through this wannabe hypocrit the right-wing fascists are doing their best to foist upon us.

    August 21, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  22. Peter E

    The system is broken. Obama has every right to criticize the old system and speak against the rules because he's an outsider! What's that? The rules now work in favor of Obama and against his opponent? Quick, let's now plaster boards with 'rules are rules' posts!
    So much for Obama being outside the broken system...

    August 21, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  23. Linda of Atlanta

    McCain, why don't you authorize the military to release all 637 pages of your military service as opposed to the 16 pages you released? CNN, if you want to report papers being hidden, why don't you question why we can't see the military records of a man who claims to be a military expert? Wolf Blitzer in on the block for the McCain campaign and CNN is fast becoming just another Fox News.

    August 21, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. P.U. MA

    poor john

    August 21, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  25. Vincent Spaulding

    The "maverick" part of McCain's persona is his utter disregard and contempt for rules. It's been a feature of his entire life, but it keeps him in good standing with the republican party. Above all, this characteristic represents continuity in the White House, and that's just what they want for a governmental takeover. A vote for the less than nimble minded McCain is a vote against the rule of law and morality.

    August 21, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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