Yesterday, on behalf of a large number of progressive bloggers and activists, Jane went to the FEC and filed an official complaint against John McCain’s alleged campaign finance violations. We’ve been asking a lot of questions about this, and the answers have been less than forthcoming. So, instead of just sitting here and stewing about yet another GOP ethical problem, we decided to put our action where our concerns were.
As you’ll see from the video, Jane handed over the official complaint to the FEC yesterday to get the process going:
“John McCain is a campaign finance criminal who is flouting the very regulations he championed,” Jane Hamsher commented while delivering the complaint. “He believes the law is for someone else, not him. It’s the height of hypocrisy.”
As Markos of DailyKos pointed out in joining the complaint, “John McCain has officially blown past campaign spending limits mandated by his original acceptance of public campaign funding. While he has signaled his intent to withdraw from such financing, that has been hindered by the fact that he used the promise of public funding to secure a campaign loan.” Guess the campaign finance laws only apply when they aren’t inconvenient for McCain’s ambitions.
As you likely know, the FEC is stymied at the moment due to the Bush Administration trying to shove Hans Von Spakovsky and all of his "caging" and other alleged nefarious campaign activities onto the election commission as a GOP dirty tricks ringer. Because the Democratic-led Congress said "no way" to Hans being voted through in a bloc vote, the Administration and their pal, Mitch McConnell, have balked at any FEC commissioner vote in the Senate. Which means that in this very important 2008 election cycle, the FEC is unable to act promptly to enforce the campaign finance laws.
Even so, FEC Chairman David Mason sent McCain’s campaign a strongly worded letter (PDF), letting them know that even though McCain didn’t consider his word on accepting public financing binding, that the FEC was not about to let him off the legal hook. What did McCain do? He ignored the letter, secured a loan based on representations of obtaining public financing and then blew past the public financing law spending limits…and he’s still raising campaign cash, too.
We decided that McCain shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this without questions — lots and lots of questions — being asked. The hypocrisy of the so-called "maverick" violating a law which he championed because it suits his purposes this time around is horrifying. Even worse is the relative silence of the press on this, given the rank hypocrisy of violations of McCain’s "signature" issue and all. Does it get to be your signature issue if you are blatantly violating it in an in-your-face maneuver after being warned not to by the head of the FEC? I think not.
If the press isn’t going to ask the necessary questions, then we have to do it ourselves. You can join in, too — sign your name to the complaint here. At that link, you’ll find a copy of the FEC filing and a list of signatories thus far. And help us get the word out on the need for McCain to be held accountable for any violations of the law that has his own name on it….and any other laws of which he may be in violation.