I was on ABC’s "Unconventional Wisdom" with host Rich Braham and the Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb, discussing the media’s softball treatment of John McCain. We spoke about McCain’s campaign finance hypocrisy and breaking the very laws he championed, and also about our FEC complaint (PDF).
Goldfarb parroted the standard right wing response — "Obama did it too." No, he didn’t. For the record, John McCain applied for public financing. He was accepted into the system. The law limits him to spending $54 million in the primary. He has now reported spending $58 million. He says that doesn’t apply to him any more, because he’s quit the public financing system. But David Mason, Chairman of the FEC, says McCain is still in the system, and needs the permission of the FEC to get out.
Which means that every dollar McCain spends, he’s breaking the law. Obama never applied for, nor was he ever accepted into the public financing system. He released a statement:
‘If Senator Obama is the nominee, he will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election."
But John McCain has already thumbed his nose at public financing, and having initially agreed to it, has now violated the primary spending cap. Obama is not yet officially the nominee, but even if he were, what’s he supposed to do — trust that McCain will really, really mean it the next time?
We’ve now got 38, 543 cosigners to the FEC complaint. When we get to 50,000 we’ll do another delivery. Who would you like to see schlepping boxloads of signatures to the FEC?