The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Green Zone

Campaign Finance Reform Group Targets McCain

By Matthew Mosk
For much of the 2008 presidential campaign, groups that fought alongside Sen. John McCain to reform the nation's campaign finance system have remained silent about what they privately viewed as McCain's quiet retreat from the issue.

Over the past year, McCain's name has been notably absent from legislation that would bring voluntary public financing to congressional elections, as well as from the Presidential Funding Act -- an effort to modernize the current presidential public financing system. McCain had co-sponsored a similar bill in 2003, but this year his former campaign finance reform partner, Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wisc.) is being joined by a different Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Brooke Buchanan, a McCain spokeswoman, told the Boston Globe that the Arizona senator believes the current system needs to be modernized but did not co-sponsor the most recent bills because he viewed that as a conflict of interest, because he was a potential recipient of matching funds.

That answer has not satisfied the Public Campaign Action Fund, a nonpartisan group that once rallied behind McCain's proposals for new campaign finance laws. Tonight, as McCain is joined at the Willard Hotel by a crowd of Washington lobbyists who will be donating to his presidential campaign, the group will protest the senator who was once an ally. David Donnelly, the group's national campaigns director, is releasing a sharply critical report called "McCain's Multiple Views on Public Financing of Elections." The report outlines McCain's gathering support for the concept of public financing and then shows his retreat over the past two years.

"This is not a partisan issue for us," Donnelly said. "For us, we just felt that staying on the sidelines was not an option."

Posted at 11:37 AM ET on Apr 8, 2008  | Category:  The Green Zone
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Jake, Get to your vaunted facts. I'm a libbie Vietnam Vet. JFK was a libbie WWII Hero. John Kerry, Libbie Vietnam Hero who was lied about by the Swifties on T Boone Pickens millionaire dime, to name one. Because when I think hero, I think T. Boone Nose Picker. Chicken Hawks GW Bush and Rev Moon, who owns the rag your reading are not the least bit interested in standing in anything remotely appearing to be harms way. And you need a complete physical work up, sis.
Who is gonna cover your sorry ass when Cheney types get done gutting our military. What would we be able to do if Korea got nasty right now.
Get an American life, Jake. McCain will not support an upgraded GI Bill for the Vets, something 55 other Senators have already signed on for. Bush and the Repubs made an after midnight move to reduce bnefits for Vets the very day they marched on Baghdad. John SIDNEY has drunk the political kool ade. Eight years ago I would have supported him. Today, he's a different candidate. A hero - but not presidential material for Our Constitutional Democracy. So what is your story, Jackie. You one of those guys making a whopping $35k a year and see yourself benefitting from the party who borrows money from China rather than asking you and MILLIONAIRES to pay for the War in Iraq by paying more Taxes. The Vets pay, but you prefer you kids to pay China's bill in the future. My Man! Small government, no tax republicans have double the size of Government via a worthless super intelligence agency and a humongous Homeland Security Dept. that couldn't deliver simple ice to New Orleans after Katrina. You go Jake MIDDLENAME Guy. Scary!

Posted by: John Rosina | April 16, 2008 1:28 PM

Why pick on McCain? He is not alone in this dilemma.

Barack Obama never meant it when he said he was for using public funds. Hope and Change. Transparency. A new type of politics.

He lied. He is a politician. He will do anything to win.

At least McCain is not pretending to be something other than a politician.

Posted by: John | April 10, 2008 5:22 AM

The ONLY reason McCain will take public financing is if he concludes he will not raise enough money himself LOOK at the quote MCCAIN's CAMPAIGN gave to the NY Times:

"We could sit down in July or August and say, 'Hey, we're raising a lot of money and maybe we should forgo it,' " said Charles Black, a senior McCain adviser. "We don't have enough data."

So it is not a matter of principal for McCain, it is a matter of time and whether McCain CAN raise enough money.


Posted by: JonathanR | April 10, 2008 3:36 AM

McCain-Feingold was a disastrous piece of legislation that has made the problem worse. Now more money is being spent and it is harder to attribute the source of the spending and hold someone responsible for misleading ads.

At least, McCain now has enough sense not to join Feingold in more futile campaign finance reform efforts

Posted by: Daniel Hancock | April 9, 2008 2:42 AM

Ron Paul 2008

Posted by: Eric Nordstrom | April 8, 2008 11:55 PM

McCain has broken his own law and he will no longer have enough delegates to be the Republican nominee.§ionid=3510203

Chairman of the FEC David Mason warned McCain that his withdrawal request had not yet been granted.

McCain has 2 problems with this issue.

1: If the FEC allows Mccain to withdraw from FED matching funds he will be revoked from many delegates in states that he was able to be on the ballot without the required number of signatures therefore he will lose any delegates for him in those states.

2: If the FEC doesn't release him from matching funds he will be capped at 50 million dollars and will kill his run for president because he will not have the money to compete.

The problem is even more complicated than this. McCain used the matching funds eligibility to avoid having to collect signatures to qualify for ballot access in several states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

Those state wins must be voided according to most experts on the issue. That means he does not have the necessary delegates.

Ironic that it was his law (McCain-Feingold) that got him in this mess.

McCain broke the law...

The delegates in these states need to file the motion at their conventions for McCain to be revoked of all his delegates in those states for failure to comply with election ballot state law requirements.

Perhaps John McCain should consult with the ranking member of the House Finance Services Committee? If there is one person specifically expert enough to iron out John McCain's financial blunders and to provide insight as to how to repair our nations economic problems it is the ranking member of the House Finance Services Committee (click link below for the ranking member of the HFS:

Posted by: Eric Nordstrom | April 8, 2008 11:52 PM

We are all going down in flames as we are no longer a country of laws. Bunch of crooks.

Posted by: Eric Nordstrom | April 8, 2008 11:50 PM

Al Gore is now running, this will certainly mix things up a bit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: KADIUS | April 8, 2008 2:57 PM

Some folks have a funny way of attempting to learn the truth-by listening to a proven liar. Poseidon

Posted by: shydog | April 8, 2008 2:54 PM

Rich people or not dumb. It not all rich people. Its the NWO, and they you right where they want you, divided. Why do they give to both parties. take time to see where your tax $ go. If its to the goverment, then after 30years of working for the goverment, then I worked 4 months out off the year to pay myself. It gose to a privet bank owned by privet bankers, its called the FED, no part of the Goverment. I never saw one cent of my money I worked for come back to me. If I was paying myself, why did I pay taxes.

Posted by: shydog | April 8, 2008 2:44 PM


Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 2:30 PM

JakeD, If you're going to parse, you have to be better than that. The fact is that Bush's senior legal counsel, Benjamin Ginsberg, collaborated with the Swiftboat 527 group in 2004. Ginsberg ended up resigning because of it, but he still did a good job of sabotaging the Kerry campaign.

The funny thing is that Bush's campaign could have stepped in at any time and put a stop to it, but they didn't. The only Republican who actually spoke out against the Swiftboaters was John McCain. I guess McCain exhibits a lot more courage and ability than you attribute to him. In fact, I think you prefer a candidate who happily turns a blind eye to malfeasance conducted on their behalf. It fits pretty well with your weak little smear jobs that you try to run on blogs.

I certainly respect McCain, even though I strongly disagree with his current platform. People like you though, you don't warrant respect--or even notice really. You're just filth looking for something to cling to. Next time I just won't waste my time on you and your childish little game.

Posted by: Justin | April 8, 2008 2:20 PM

If in fact you are right Shydog (and I do see a little tinfoil sticking out) rich people must be some of the dumbest folks on earth

Posted by: B Goblin | April 8, 2008 1:53 PM

All 3 of them part of the NWO. Stop and look at all past elections, all that make are members of part of the NWO. Money people run this country, not the we the people.

Posted by: Shydog | April 8, 2008 1:48 PM

Make no differance how you vote for. the count can be 20,000,000 to 300 for one or the other. If the NWO wants # 300 in then that is the winner.

Posted by: Shydog | April 8, 2008 1:36 PM

Yes, who cares if McCain USED his matching funds promise (which by the way LEGALLY ties him into matching funds) to get a loan guarantee

Posted by: B Goblin | April 8, 2008 1:25 PM

Now you are making me laugh, Justin. I sorta doubt McCain will "coordinate" (especially since that's illegal), but the 527s are going to go after BOTH candidates, as sure as the sun sets. Therefore, even if McCain tried to "control" them (again, see "illegal") it is clear that Obama is including that pre-requisite because he has no "good faith" intention of taking public financing. That's what I was referring to. But, I figure you knew that already.

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 1:19 PM


I'm disturbed at how low an opinion you have of Senator McCain's word. You've just stated by analogy that he's going to coordinate with 527 groups and attempt to skirt campaign finance laws. Apparently you consider it as likely as it is that "the sun sets tonight."

I for one have a much higher opinion of Senator McCain. I'm not planning on voting for him, but I take serious offense at anyone who would attack his character in this way--particularly someone who claims to be a supporter.

I anticipate that both Senators McCain and Obama will run respectable campaigns, in spite of fumbling attempts from people like you who want to drag everyone into the gutter. In the end, the sun is really setting on the role of people like you in politics.

Posted by: Justin | April 8, 2008 1:12 PM

Actually Chenye's middle name is Head. So his full name is Dick Head Cheney.

Posted by: jeffp | April 8, 2008 1:12 PM

Whats funny is McCain is knee deep in hot water over financing and the level is rising.

The sad part is he is in a position to scam the system just like all the other dirty politicians of the past. At least Obama gets his cash for a huge number of real supporters instead of a beer company.

Vote McCain because he's republican!!!! But I don't trust him enough to give him money!!!

Seriously, Make up your mind. Your either 100% behind the guy or a two-faced liar. I think JakeD that your leaning toward liar.

Posted by: Tim | April 8, 2008 1:12 PM

I think my initial question on that thread is still relevant: "So, once President John SIDNEY McCain appoints the quorum to the FEC, what exactly do you think it will do to him?"

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 12:44 PM

We also already had this debate (at least once before) where at least one former FEC chairman, Michael Toner, said McCain would not need action by the FEC to pull out of thge public financing system:

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 12:42 PM


Was it "xenophobia" to use Cheney and McCain's middle names?


If I agree to negotiate with you, unless the sun sets tonight, that's not a "good faith" agreement, is it? But, since there's no quorum at the FEC, I think things are just fine for John SIDNEY McCain.

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 12:35 PM

JakeD, at least your silly little antics always make me laugh.

Anyway, you well know that Senator Obama's pledge is very different from what you're trying to present. He made a broad commitment to negotiate with his opponent on not just public funds, but also 527 groups and other tactics used to skirt campaign finance laws. However, unlike Senator McCain, Senator Obama had the foresight to ensure that either funding option would be available regardless of the outcome of those negotiations. Unfortunately, Senator McCain is currently in a rather awkward spot of flipping back and forth between accepting matching funds and not accepting them--meanwhile he's still officially in the matching program.

So, once the primary is over Senators McCain and Obama can have their sit down. Anything else would be premature and a distraction from the nomination battle. Of course, this all assumes that Senator McCain can get his legal situation under control with regards to financing.

Posted by: Justin | April 8, 2008 12:31 PM

Whoa, way to drop your xenophobia in an effort to dissuade attention from Senator McCain.

Sen. McCain has had a variety of opinions over the years on public financing. What does he really believe?

Posted by: Bryce | April 8, 2008 12:28 PM

Rather than all caps, I could highlight little known facts about Barack Hussein a number of other ways.

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 12:27 PM

Actually, Cheney's middle name is BRUCE. I just want to make sure everyone knows little known facts. Since it seems, at the very least, you didn't know about Cheney's middle name, you can see how to learn something new every day.

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 12:25 PM

Non-Partisan Huh? Riiiiight! :-(

John McCain has collected the Least of almost every Presidential Candidate so far!

So, now he is the Target of abuse?

LOL! Wait until he seals the breach and pulls St. Mitt onto the Ticket.

The Coffers will OVERFLOW!

And this Libbie "Non-Partisan" Group will really have a reason to Snit! ;~)

Posted by: Rat-The | April 8, 2008 12:25 PM

I don't get people like the above commenter. Sen. Obama's name is Hussein? So what? Vice President Cheney's name is DICK but I don't usually put that in all caps when I post it.

Posted by: Fred Hernandez | April 8, 2008 12:23 PM

As I understand it, he will gladly accept public financing as long as Barack HUSSEIN Obama stands by his pledge to do so as well. It seems unfair to hold John SIDNEY McCain to a different standard.

Posted by: JakeD | April 8, 2008 12:04 PM

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