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Public Justice for McCain, Thanks to Bloggers

Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake, along with Joe Sudbay of Americablog and the Rev. Lennox Yearwood have done a great service by putting together a well-argued complaint to the Federal Election Commission over John McCain's violation of the campaign finance law. While the Democratic National Committee filed a complaint earlier raising all the complex issues posed by McCain's loan and his promise to use public financing to pay off the loan while also avoiding the limits imposed by the public financing system, the Hamsher/bloggers' complaint is much simpler: It uses McCain's recent campaign filing to establish the simple fact that he is now over the spending limit for the primaries and therefore in violation. Since his last official action at the FEC was to apply for and receive certification for public funding, he is still in the system, a view reinforced by FEC Chair David Mason's letter to that effect to McCain.

Even at the best of times, FEC complaints take months to resolve, and a great many complaints that end in even the Commission's strongest resolution -- that there is "probable cause to believe" that a violation occurred -- go into a "conciliation" process that often end in little or no penalty. At the moment, of course, there isn't even an FEC to hear the complaint.

So the best thing we can do is ask for a public judgment on McCain's scam, which as Jane puts it, amounts to regulation "for thee but not for me." So far, almost 35,000 people have signed the complaint. I certainly have. You can join them here.

[cross-posted from TAPPED]

Posted by Mark Schmitt on April 3, 2008 | Permalink