Election Law Violations - DNC to Investigate Lawless McCain

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Tue, 06/17/2008 - 4:39pm.
Democratic Party officials plan to file a new lawsuit to compel federal regulators to investigate whether Sen. John McCain violated election laws by withdrawing from public financing.

The Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday it will sue next week in U.S. District Court. It will ask the court to order the Federal Election Commission to examine, within 30 days, the legality of McCain's decision to reject $5.8 million in taxpayer funds.

By turning down the money, the presumed Republican nominee was able avoid strict spending limits between now and the GOP's national convention in September.

At issue is a $4 million line of credit the McCain campaign obtained late last year. While the loan was not secured by the promise of public funds, his agreement with the bank required McCain to reapply for public funds if he lost early primary contests and to use that money as collateral.

The DNC filed a complaint with the FEC in February, arguing that the bank arrangement violated federal regulations. But the six-member FEC has been unable to act because it doesn't have a quorum. Four nominees are awaiting Senate confirmation.

In throwing out an earlier DNC lawsuit, a federal judge pointed out that federal rules give the FEC up to 120 days to act on a complaint. That deadline expires next Tuesday.

McCain's campaign and his bankers adamantly deny that they used the public funds as collateral. On Tuesday, Republican National Committee chief counsel Sean Cairncross called the suit "meritless," and noted that McCain was entitled to withdraw from the public finance system because he did not receive any public funds during the primary.

Still, FEC Chairman David Mason in February asked McCain to explain the terms of the loan and informed McCain that he would need approval from the full FEC before withdrawing from public financing. McCain's campaign said it did not need such approval.

June 17, 2008 - posted at www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/17/dnc-investigate-mccain-

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Tue, 06/17/2008 - 4:39pm.