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He'd be in good company. Eugene Debs ran for president from a jail cell in 1920, having violated the Espionage Act by publicly opposing U.S. involvement in World War I. But Debs was in jail for speaking out against the war. McCain has another problem, and it isn't the unsubstantiated sex scandal. He may be in violation of his own law.

From WAPO:


By signing up for matching money, McCain agreed to adhere to strict state-by-state spending limits and an overall limit on spending of $54 million for the primary season, which lasts until the party's nominating convention in September. The general election has a separate public financing arrangement.


   If the FEC refuses McCain's request to leave the system, his campaign could be bound by a potentially debilitating spending limit until he formally accepts his party's nomination. His campaign has already spent $49 million, federal reports show. Knowingly violating the spending limit is a criminal offense that could put McCain at risk of stiff fines and up to five years in prison.

There are some, including the ACLU, who believe that McCain/Feingold violates the First Amendment, so maybe he can champion the opposition to the law of his own making. Since we now know that pols borrow quotes from each other all the time, nobody should begrudge McCain credit should he repeat Debs' words upon conviction:


Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.

Then he can break out into an old spritual - swing low sweet chariot....

Originally posted to Drummond on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:31 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Keep beating this drum (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As I said before, keep it simple:

    You can give back the FEC certification if you give back the delegates you won using it.

    Without the FEC certification, he would not have made it automatically onto the ballot in several states, including Ohio.

  •  Two things: (0+ / 0-)

    McCain-Feingold is a different law altogether as far as I know.  Second, I think the law is on his side, and he can drop out.  (there's nothing in the law forbidding him from dropping out, and nothing that gives the FEC the power to create policy and regs to enforce the public financing system)

    This will hurt him politically, though, which is great news.  Nothing like a scandal even before the GE.

    "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

    by burrow owl on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:38:42 AM PST

    •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)

      that McCheney (TM) actively relied on his promise of public financing - not just for the loan guarantee, but, as pointed out above, in bypassing the Ohio delegate certification process.

      That counts IMO the same as funds received. And that locks him into the system he created. He can't drop out of the commitment once he has used it to his advantage.

      It is not the business of the state to help its citizens get into heaven nor to save them from hell.

      by DanK Is Back on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:50:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The law says nada about getting "locked in." (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The FEC says that, but then the question is whether they've been delegated the authority to make that rule.  And, again, I see nothing in the law to that effect.

        "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

        by burrow owl on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:09:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why not? Matthew Lyon did. (0+ / 0-)

    He won his House seat, too.

    Of course, he was on our side - one of the good guys, as it were...

    It ain't called paranoia - when they're really out to get you.

    by Jaime Frontero on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 09:41:02 AM PST

  •  Not a chance (0+ / 0-)

    the issue won't even be discussed by the FEC until they get a quorum (they are shorth 4 out of 6)and is not likely this year unless the nomination of von Spakovsky is retired, and after that it will take months to years to get a decision and even then the most likely result will be a fine.

    The most likely result of this whole bruhaha is that JMC will look like an hypocrite every time he raises the issue, it will resonate in the echo chamber of talk radio but the MSM will either downplay it or ignore it.  


    by IamTheJudge on Fri Feb 22, 2008 at 10:45:23 AM PST

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