Update: I guess the McCain camp is a bit worried about this because they pulled it from the campaign website calendar! Whoops.
The straight talking maverick is at it again. He’s skirting campaign finance laws he used to support and built his maverick appeal on. This time in Ohio. It’s a shell game, really. Though legislation limits individual contributions to $2,300, McCain and his rich friends have decided to skirt a law with his name on it by creating a financing structure in conjunction with the RNC.
Tim at Blogger Interrupted has a fundraising email nailing the McCain camp on this. They are asking couples to give $50,000. They are then telling people how to go about getting around campaign finance laws which should limit a couple to $4,600. You wanna talk about arrogance and hubris. This is taking a law that you got passed, a concept that you’ve campaigned on and staked your maverick reputation on, and completely distorting it and laughing at it. Here is what they say do:
For Individuals-The first $2,300 to JM 2008, the next $2,300 to the Compliance Fund, the next $10,000 to the Ohio Republican Party’s federal account, and the next $28,500 to the RNC.
It’s not the first time they’ve done this. Not at all. It’s been a campaign strategy in the general from word go it appears.
Elizabeth Jones at the WSJ reported on this back in April:
The idea is to tap donors for more than the $2,300 limit set by campaign finance laws. Under legislation pushed by McCain in his role as a senator from Arizona, an individual can donate a maximum of $2,300 to a presidential primary campaign and the same amount to the general election campaign…
The new structure allows up to $70,000 in individual contributions by channeling the money into different McCain-centric funds.
This “hybrid legal structure”, as campaign manager Rick Davis calls it, probably is legal under the letter (and not the spirit) of McCain-Feingold. What does appear in question is if a candidate can explicitly ask people to skirt the law in an event invitation. I think this needs to be looked at. It certainly needs to be known.