Forget everything you have been told about McCain and the myth of the maverick. Mr. campaign finance reform has carted that out to the curb with the rest of the rubbish.
And now that we actually have something resembling a working FEC again, they have plenty of things to keep them busy, but there is one especially egregious shell game that I hope they get to promptly.
There is a plan afoot by the Republican Governors Association to raise large amounts of "soft" money for McCain - the very man who made a lot of noise not so very long ago about the evils of that very way of financing campaigns.
Using a fund set up to elect governors to support a presidential candidate smacks of impropriety on it's very face. Indeed, it looks like it crosses the legal line prohibiting federal electioneering. Now - will the F.E.C. scrutinize this issue thoroughly and promptly, or dither until the second Tuesday after the second Monday in November?
And this little tidbit ought to make one and all feel a sense of comfort and magnanimity about the governor's fundraising scheme...The scurrilous curs who bankrolled the Swift Boat Liars are writing checks to the governors fund.
One of the first items on the agenda for the F.E.C. should be to write the regulations to implement the Congressional ethics law passed last year that mandates public disclosure of lobbyists who compile and bundle large campaign contributions. Setting up a 501-C and appointing an unknown "public face" to give the illusion of a "grassroots organization" not revealing who the principals are is a favorite dodge of those who wish to skirt the law and throw massive amounts of money into a campaign, far beyond the contribution limits.
There is another issue with the McCain campaign that cries out for scrutiny...did he, on expectation of public financing, use that expectation as collateral for a bank loan to keep his campaign afloat when it was about to go down for the third time.
As the NY Times said in an editorial today: There’s no end to the twists and turns of the candidates’ money trail, particularly now that Senator Barack Obama has rejected public spending limits for the general campaign in favor of unlimited private funding.
If only all the brainpower devoted to skirting the election laws were applied to the actual problems of government. If only.
I'll give that an Amen and two snaps up.