Once upon a time, John McCain was the co-sponsor of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (also known as the “McCain-Feingold” bill), but he seems to be spending more time now getting around the provisions of his own law.
First he took out a loan for his own campaign, using the promise of public money as collateral (a big no-no). Then he spent more than allowed by law. Then he opted out of public financing (after he had opted in), but didn’t get permission to opt out from the FEC as required by law.
But all of those are mere details compared to this. The Republican National Committee has announced a new fundraising structure whose sole purpose is to get around the limits on contributions to political candidates; limits that are the heart of the McCain-Feingold bill. Instead of being limited to $2,300 per person, each donor can give up to $70,000 to the “McCain Victory 2008” fund. In order to obey the letter of the law (but not the spirit) this money is split up into multiple funds:
- $2,300 goes to McCain’s campaign fund (the legal limit)
- the next $28,000 goes to the Republican National Committee (RNC) so they can campaign for McCain
- the rest is divided among state-wide funds in four swing states that the Republicans have targeted for the presidential election: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Colorado, and New Mexico
I guess campaign finance reform is for the “little people”.