Monday, February 25, 2008

McCain and matching funds

For you hard-core junkies out there, here's a primer from The Politico on the complaint the DNC will file against presumptive GOP nominee John McCain and his attempts to withdraw from the federal presidential matching fund system.

For the rest of you, here's the deal: McCain took a $1 million loan from the feds in January because he was low on cash ahead of Super Tuesday. The money allowed him to stay competitive, and it also allowed him to be automatically placed on the ballot in several key states. But it came with a catch: candidates who use matching funds must agree to a $54 million spending cap in primaries -- and McCain has already spent at least $49 million.

I know, you're thinking, "He has the nomination just about wrapped up. Why would he need to spend any more money?" And you'd be right -- if Republican rivals were the only ones attacking McCain. The cap hampers McCain's ability to effectively respond to incoming Democratic fire up until the GOP convention in September.

McCain would need approval from the Federal Elections Commission to withdraw from the matching-funds system ... but "a partisan dispute between the White House and Senate Democrats has left the FEC without a working quorum of commissioners in place," The Politico reports.

Who says politics is boring???