Monday, February 25, 2008

How Many Scandals Is McCain Involved In?

Well so far there are not one, but two. Unless you haven't seen just a smidge of political news in the last week or so, you know of some blonde that he might or might not have been ethical with. In regards to the blonde, it doesn't matter if he slept with her or not. The real issue is that he did favors for her as a lobbyist, that is, by Mr. Anti-Lobbyist. He's not really a 'maverick,' it is more like he is a real slick bastard who has gotten away with looking clean for far too long. Yet there is more than just lobbying going on in McCain's universe. The Iseman scandal just looks really bad, the other one is criminal.

From AmericaBlog:

When John McCain's campaign was strapped for cash John McCain opted into the campaign financing system by requesting certification that he was eligible to collect federal money. As the New Hampshire primary approached and John McCain was broke he took material advantage of the system by using the promise of matching funds to borrow money to keep his campaign afloat. And he took advantage of a rule that gives candidates who take public financing automatic ballot access on ballots in several states. (Governor Dean estimated that he spent 3 million dollars in 2004 getting on ballots in states because he had opted out of the public financing system. )

Once John McCain had taken advantage of the system by gaining ballot access and securing a campaign saving loan, he won the New Hampshire primary and became the apparent nominee of the Republican Party. He then sent a letter saying that he was opting out of the primary process and claiming that the FEC is now impotent to stop him.

If John McCain is forced to stay in the matching system he will only be allowed to spend $56 million dollars before the Republican convention in September. As of the end of January John McCain had already spent $49 million dollars meaning that today he's either close to the cap or over the amount of money he can spend during the primary.

What does it mean for John McCain? It's yet another issue where John McCain tries to legislate one way and do something completely different. In this case it has to do with campaign finance issues. As Brad Smith, the former Republican FEC commissioner noted, if McCain drops out of the system the FEC will subpoena McCain, and his staff during and their records to determine whether they violated the law. If they're found to be in violation of the law they can be fined up to $25,000 and they can be jailed for up to five years.

Hmm, McCain certainly does not want to spend another five years in jail, even if it would be an American jail. Well Howard Dean has taken the first step to figure out what is happening, by filing a complaint against the maverick with the Federal Elections Commission. McCain was trying to hedge his bets before his campaign reignited in New Hampshire. Unfortunately for him, hedging that bet is against the law.

So much for Mr. Campaign Finance.