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RNC Victory Fund Donors Stay Cloaked

By Matthew Mosk and Sarah Cohen
Sen. John McCain has filed campaign finance reports today that provide details about the $27 million he raised in July.

But the same cannot be said for the McCain victory funds overseen by the Republican National Committee. The RNC is filing those reports on a quarterly basis. That means the public will have to wait until Oct. 15 -- two weeks before Election Day -- to learn the identities of the large donors who are ponying up as much as $70,000 per person to support McCain's presidential bid.

The Democratic National Committee's fundraising counterpart is filing its forms monthly.

Fred Wertheimer, a campaign finance lawyer who runs the advocacy group Democracy 21 said the rules that govern party committee reports were set out in the landmark legislation championed by McCain, the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, better known as McCain-Feingold. That law specifies that it "requires monthly reports by national party committees."

FEC spokesman Bob Biersack said that, because the victory funds involve money for both federal and state party accounts, they're not purely a national party committee and are permitted to file quarterly. That's also the reading of RNC lawyers, according to a party official, who said the GOP treasurer chose file only quarterly "for administrative reasons, because the accounting is so difficult."

Regardless of the legal question, Wertheimer says victory funds should be filing monthly, so donors' names can be subject to public review.

"I think the presidential candidates are responsible for insuring disclosure here," Wertheimer said. "Disclosure is a basic prerequisite of campaign finance laws and the only reason for not filing this information monthly would appear to be to hide the information from the public. This information should not be hidden from anyone."

That said, a careful review of McCain's reports give some clues as to the identities of the people contributing to the victory funds. That's because the first $2,300 collected by the RNC's fund is automatically transfered into McCain's account, so long as those people have never given to McCain before. About 1,600 donors fit that pattern in July, accounting for $5.6 million in funds transfered to McCain from the Victory account.

A number of GOP luminaries show up among those whose money was transfered. Mitt Romney gave to the fund in July. So did former secretary of state James A. Baker III and Patricia Bush, the wife of former president George H. W. Bush's younger brother. Former defense secretary Caspar Weinberger is there, as are former Tennessee senator William H. Frist and his wife.

Another is Mercer Reynolds, Jr., who was finance chair for George W. Bush, who in turn appointed him ambassador to Switzerland. And there are eight members of the Lindner family -- though not prolific GOP donor Carl Lindner, who was chairman of Chiquita Brands International. Also donating was R. James Nicholson, who apparently did not provide the name of his employer to the party (it says "Information requested" where it should name his employer and occupation).

He was Secretary of Veterans Affairs until October of last year, and is a former Republican Party chairman.

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 20, 2008; 6:48 PM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , John McCain , The Green Zone  
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Barack HUSSEIN Obama will not be sworn in as President on January 20, 2009.

Posted by: JakeD | August 21, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats, with Barack, will achieve a landslide victory in November. The best the Republicans can attempt is to prevent a landslide victory.

It is a known fact now that negative campaigning "works" for, and heavily influences, those with only an elemental capacity to understand.

My only personal fear with the Republicans is that they refuse to allow American to move on to the task of building a better union.

Posted by: Reggie Boykins | August 21, 2008 6:40 AM | Report abuse


To all the Repuglican Reprobates going to Minneapolis... Don't plan any special toe tapping side trips to the Larry Craig wide-stance airport bathroom.

You're being watched now.

Thank you,

Posted by: Republican Family Values | August 21, 2008 3:39 AM | Report abuse

We may be doomed. I can now see our country failing because we don't put the best and brightest in office we vote down party lines and race. It's sad to see just how stupid my country is.

I'm seeing people willing to put a man with less education then the current president in office all in the name of race.

We are willing to bring this country to an end rather then elect someone who is very very intelligent who graduated at the tip top of his class, who was elected president of the Harvard Law Review. Do you people understand what that means? Obama has one of the best minds in the world. It's not everyday someone as smart as this man wants to be president. When this man said he can fix our economic problems you can believe it. This country can't take another idiot.

We need intelligents not a old fool who graduated 5th from the bottom of his class. People please wake up! We showed the world we can elect a dumbazz now let's show them that we know the difference between smart and dumb and elect a man that can be all that this country promises when you migrate here seeking a better life. Obama08!

Posted by: JamesP | August 21, 2008 3:07 AM | Report abuse

You Republicans are so f*ing DUMB. Obama is a self-made man. If strategy was a playground thing he'd be kicking everybody's arse.

But if you'd rather be white than right, son go ahead and vote for the white guy who lost his mind in Vietnam, married into a crime family, and is old and decrepit.

The fact is that an Obama Admin would be best for AMERICA. Maybe some of you won't like looking at a black man on TV, but he's the best and smartest guy to run this country. Would you rather have more young people die, more young people come home having lost parts of their bodies and minds, taking friggin' lighters to their arms to show you how scrwd up they are than to have a really smart guy lead us out of the sh*t?

If you'd rather be white than right then you are not my brothers and sisters. And you can go to hell. But don't take the rest of us with you- jerks.

Posted by: Corruption Anon | August 21, 2008 2:30 AM | Report abuse

This is kind of "inside the beltway" stuff that does not resonate with voters.

The big story is that Barack Obama does not have the big financial advantage that he had at the beginning of the summer. McCain and RNC money now exceeds Obama and DNC money. Obama still has an advantage because there will be more 520c spending on behalf of him than there will be for McCain. But it is not the hopeless situation for McCain that it seemed earlier.

All in all, it has been a pretty good summer for the McCain campaign and not so good of one for the Obama campaign.

Posted by: danielhancock | August 21, 2008 12:30 AM | Report abuse

The GOP has just released the theme of their upcoming convention.

"Country First: 2008 Republican National Convention to Highlight Service, Reform, Prosperity and Peace"

In other words, they intend to focus like a pack of frickin' laser-beam equipped sharks on everything they don't provide.

Maybe I'm misreading this. It could be an example of the kind of literary inversion John Kennedy used in his "Ask not," speech. Maybe what they meant to say was "For the first time in our country, Republicans will give a damn about service, reform, prosperity, and peace."

Otherwise, there's the problem of a party that's left us with two open-ended wars bragging about "peace." The party that's left us with an unprecedented level of corruption and cronyism talking about "service" and "reform." And the party that's generated the worst economy in thirty years while running up a tab that our great-great grandkids will still be paying talking about "prosperity."

Speakers for Monday night, which will focus on "Service," will include Joe Lieberman demonstrating his ability to serve any forum that will feed his petty ego. Lieberman will be scheduled on the same evening as his war buddy Dick Cheney and official Lil' Abner Mattress Testing Award Winner, George W. Bush.

Tuesdays "Reform" brings Rudy Giuliani to talk about how you can reform law, order, and heroism to mean anything you want. And 9/11. Lots and lots of 9/11.

Speaking on "Prosperity" will be Cindy McCain, who will explain the traditional Republican means of getting by in hard times: inherit millions from your daddy. Cindy will demonstrate her pity for the middle class workers struggling to get by on three million a year, and for the poor who must survive with no more than two vacation homes.

And finally, Grampy McCain will be there on Thursday night to focus on (I'm not kidding) "Peace."

Posted by: Republicanism is a fatal disease | August 20, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

well I'll be, former Senator Frist is mentioned, even though they have air-brushed him out of recent history. All because of his "cat" experiments.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 20, 2008 8:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD
Is Barack HUSSEIN Obama also "corrupt"
Is JakeDICK all that his name implies? Yes....just read the troglodyte's posts.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 8:09 PM
actually Anon... D does not stand for dick (I wish) stands for Dinky, as in angry inch. Had it gnawed off at a Ted Nugent concert. All that is left.

Posted by: jakeD's shadow | August 20, 2008 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Mccain says today he would be for a new draft.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

More lies from Mccain shown in the Saturday night church conversation. He even drags Mothet Teresa into his lies.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD
Is Barack HUSSEIN Obama also "corrupt"
Is JakeDICK all that his name implies? Yes....just read the troglodyte's posts.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm betting it's the Saudies and Kuwatiis...

Posted by: jakeB | August 20, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse


When money is coming in that fast it's hard to keep up with it all. I'm sure there are student groups throwing benefit parties and sending in money orders with barely legible information. Some of those parties get wild. 2 million donors. This is America- people get funky. 6% of any major metropolitan area probably can't legibly write their name... If 100% of the donations were properly accounted for and then you'd know something was *wrong*.

Posted by: Corruption Anon | August 20, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

The GOP "cloak" information? Naw! They don't tell us things for our own good. You know, to keep us safe. It's called "executive privelage"- just ask Bush and Cheney.

Posted by: VAreader | August 20, 2008 7:42 PM | Report abuse


Is Barack HUSSEIN Obama also "corrupt" for providing "No Disclosure" on $11,540,120 in his donations?

Posted by: JakeD | August 20, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

This is part of why the Republicans are so corrupt...its part of their culture.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 20, 2008 7:25 PM | Report abuse

That's what happens when you have friends in Phoenix, Vegas, and LA who run the cash economy. You don't need to worry about the books.

McCain is starting to remind me of Aaron Burr. I wonder if he too has hidden children and hidden families that he's funneling untold millions to.

Posted by: Corruption Anon | August 20, 2008 7:13 PM | Report abuse

According to, Barack HUSSEIN Obama's campaign has provided "No Disclosure" for $11,540,120 (6.0%):

It should also be mentioned that McCain will no longer need public disclosure for his own campaign after he officially accepts the GOP nomination. Why did Obama renege on HIS promise to "aggressively pursue a public financing agreement"?

Posted by: JakeD | August 20, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Fine by me (the DNC could file quarterly and Obama gets to use the same campaign finance reform laws, right?)

Posted by: JakeD | August 20, 2008 6:52 PM | Report abuse

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