DNC Hits McCain on Campaign Funding

Posted October 25, 2008 at 1:22pm

The Democratic National Committee accused Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Saturday of taking excessive campaign contributions and violating other “fundamental and basic” aspects of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002.

The DNC said in a statement that it will file a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday.

“The McCain campaign’s lack of disclosure and disregard for the law he helped write raises serious questions about John McCain’s commitment to the openness and transparency the voters expect from their leaders,” DNC lawyer Joe Sandler said in a statement. “In view of the McCain campaign’s clear history of violating campaign finance laws, it is imperative that the commission promptly conduct a thorough investigation of these violations.”

A spokesman for the McCain campaign denied the allegations, calling the complaint “a joke” and “a sad publicity stunt to divert attention from the recent controversies surrounding Barack Obama’s shady fundraising practices.”

“It’s ironic that the DNC and Obama campaign would launch a complaint based on information fully disclosed our website – which is completely transparent in disclosing 100 percent of our contributions publicly, while the Obama campaign has refused to do likewise,” McCain spokesman Brian Rogers wrote in an e-mail. “Obviously all of our fundraising strictly follows all campaign finance regulations, which provide for 60 days to reconcile all contributions.”

In its 24-page complaint, the DNC alleges that McCain’s campaign took money from anonymous donors and more than 6,600 individual contributions that are at least $1,000 over what the federal law allows. The DNC also accuses McCain of a “continuing pattern of soliciting foreign nationals” for campaign gifts.

McCain’s landmark 2002 legislation, which he co-authored with Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), included a ban on so-called soft money donations, while doubling individual contribution limits to $2,000. The BCRA also tried to close up once-controversial loopholes that allowed foreign nationals to get involved – financially or otherwise – in federal elections.

Adjusted for inflation, individuals many now give federal candidates $2,300 per election.