The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Green Zone

Judge Rebuffs DNC Lawsuit Against McCain

Updated 6:35 p.m.
By Matthew Mosk
A federal judge has turned back the Democratic National Committee's attempt to mount a legal challenge against Sen. John McCain for his decision to withdraw from the presidential public financing system.

Judge John Bates said the DNC failed to wait 120 days for the Federal Election Commission to contend with the complaint, as the law requires.

Late last year, McCain had expressed an interest in the presidential matching funds program for the primaries because he was running so low on cash. But as his campaign gathered strength, he wrote to the FEC to declare he was no longer interested in participating. (The public financing program can help candidates maximize the value of each donation they get, but candidates who take the money must abide by strict spending limits.) Democrats have argued that McCain had forfeited his ability to withdraw from the matching program because he had already made use of the program -- borrowing $4 million from a D.C.-area bank, and holding out the potential for matching funds as collateral.

The DNC complaint though, will have to wait, according to the judge. Even though the FEC lacks a quorum to act on the complaint right now, it still could convene before the end of 120 days, the time the agency is alloted to review complaints.

RNC Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross called the DNC complaint a "publicity stunt."

"Despite having wasted the resources of the federal court system for weeks now, we predict the DNC will again file suit in late June, when the Court said the statute first allows them to object to FEC non-action on their complaint," Carincross said in a statement e-mailed to reporters.

DNC spokeswoman Stacie Paxton predicted the judge's ruling wouldn't be the end of things. "John McCain still thinks the rules apply to everyone but him," she said. "Unless there is a serious and timely investigation underway by the FEC, we will be back in court in the end of June to hold McCain accountable for breaking the law."

Posted at 6:07 PM ET on May 14, 2008  | Category:  The Green Zone
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You are mistaking my laughter as "fear" ...

Posted by: JakeD | May 15, 2008 1:51 PM

Once you get the FEC to rule anything McCain has done was illegal...

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2008 7:22 PM

Again, Fear is the only tool of the Republican extremists.

Posted by: Franky | May 14, 2008 8:56 PM


Once you get the FEC to rule anything McCain has done was illegal, let me know (also, be sure to let me know how big the fine will be against PRESIDENT McCain ; )

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2008 7:22 PM

The Anti-american McCain-Feingold Act to start with.

Posted by: Franky | May 14, 2008 7:03 PM

JakeD-McCain is an Idiot!

Either THAT, or he Wants Barack to win. When you consider his Partner in crime, Teddy Kennedy is a driving force behind Barack, it should really come as no surprise we are being conspired against!

Juan is Courting the Hispanics, at the complete ALIENATION of Me and Everyone like me who rallied against the Cursed Amnesty Plan.

He LOST US! There are way too many of us, who are feeling betrayed right now!

The INSTANT, "Barry" takes on the Anchor Baby Bill Richardson, McAmnesty is going to be facing the single biggest Landslide of a LOSS in US History!

If the Republican Conservatives, and Independent Moderates WAIT until Barack finally announces Richardson, it WILL be at the Conventions, and it WILL be TOO LATE! :-(

Can the Old Man NOW!

He is a Certain Loser! Cripes;

He brings all the Excitement of Bingo Night at the Convalescent Home!

ZZZZZZZZ uhhh, go mac! hrmph, yeah go uhhhh john? ZZZZZZZ

Posted by: RAT-The | May 14, 2008 6:51 PM

For instance, Franky?

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2008 6:49 PM

Republicans can't even follow the laws they create!

Posted by: Franky | May 14, 2008 6:41 PM

For what it's worth, McCain at least claims to have seen the error of his ways on amnesty. He has pledged to secure the border first:

"If we have learned anything from the recent immigration debate, it is that Americans have little trust that their government will honor a pledge to do the things necessary to make the border secure.

As president, I will secure the border. I will restore the trust Americans should have in the basic competency of their government. A secure border is an essential element of our national security. Tight border security includes not just the entry and exit of people, but also the effective screening of cargo at our ports and other points of entry.

But a secure border will contribute to addressing our immigration problem most effectively if we also:

1) Recognize the importance of building strong allies in Mexico and Latin America who reject the siren call of authoritarians like Hugo Chavez, support freedom and democracy, and seek strong domestic economies with abundant economic opportunities for their citizens.

2) Recognize the importance of pro-growth policies -- keeping government spending in check, holding down taxes, and cutting unnecessary regulatory burdens -- so American businesses can hire and pay the best.

3) Recognize the importance of a flexible labor market to keep employers in business and our economy on top. It should provide skilled Americans and immigrants with opportunity. Our education system should ensure skills for our younger workers, and our retraining and assistance programs for displaced workers must be modernized so they can pursue those opportunities

4) Recognize the importance of assimilation of our immigrant population, which includes learning English, American history and civics, and respecting the values of a democratic society.

5) Recognize that America will always be that "shining city upon a hill," a beacon of hope and opportunity for those seeking a better life built on hard work and optimism.

Border security and our failed immigration system are more examples of an ailing Washington culture in need of reform to regain the trust of Americans. In too many areas -- from immigration and pork barrel spending to Social Security, health care, energy security and tax relief -- business-as-usual politics prevents addressing the important challenges facing our nation."

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2008 6:38 PM


Sooner or later, you will have to wake up to the reality that it will be either McCain or Obama/Clinton in the White House next year. Let me know when that happens.

Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2008 6:32 PM

The Old Man and the Senate!

Where he BELONGS!

Posted by: RAT-The | May 14, 2008 6:28 PM


Posted by: JakeD | May 14, 2008 6:15 PM

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