According to the latest Federal Election Commission report, John McCain has now spent $58.4 million dollars. McCain applied for public financing, and according to FEC chairman David Mason (in a letter to McCain), he can’t withdraw without permission of the FEC. So he is now legally in violation of campaign finance law.
But as Media Matters points out, you’d never know it from reading AP writer Jim Kuhnhenn:
A March 21 Associated Press article reported that Sen. John McCain "has now spent $58.4 million in his primary bid, surpassing the $50 million limit he would have faced if he participated in the public financing system he had been certified to join." The article, by staff writer Jim Kuhnhenn, continued: "McCain has decided not to accept the public matching funds, but the FEC [Federal Election Commission] wants him to assure regulators that he did not use the promise of public money as collateral for the loan." Kuhnhenn also reported that "[t]he Democratic National Committee [DNC] has filed a complaint with the FEC arguing McCain cannot withdraw from the public finance system without FEC approval." In fact, as Kuhnhenn himself has noted in previous articles, in addition to the DNC, FEC Chairman David Mason has also asserted that McCain cannot legally withdraw from the public finance system without such approval.
The Wall Street Journal article makes the same convenient omission.
Barbecue buddies forever, eh?