Letter Contends FEC Consideration of McCAin Withdrawal From Primary Funds Program Without an Investigation into DNC Complaint is Illegal
Washington, DC - With the Federal Election Commission scheduled to address John McCain's decision to unilaterally withdraw from the federal matching funds program on Thursday, the Democratic National Committee today called on the Commission to remove that item from its agenda and instead proceed with a full investigation of the charges made against McCain in the administrative complaint filed by the DNC in February. In a conference call with reporters this morning, DNC General Counsel Joe Sandler discussed a letter he sent to the FEC last night that argued that the Commission should not consider McCain's decision to withdraw from the matching funds program because there is no request for permission pending and the Commission hasn't yet conducted an investigation as required by the law.
To listen to this morning's conference call, click here: http://www.democrats.org/page/-/audio/calls/FECLetterConfCall082008.mp3
For a copy of the letter, click here: http://www.democrats.org/page/-/pdf/FEC_McCain_August19.pdf
On February 25, 2008 the DNC filed an administrative complaint alleging that Senator McCain was violating the law by taking the unprecedented step of announcing he was unilaterally withdrawing from the program instead of requesting and receiving permission from the FEC to be released from the obligations of the federal matching funds program. McCain is in fact already violating the law by exceeding the spending caps associated with the primaries by tens of millions of dollars. In his letter, Sandler noted that the FEC cannot issue a finding on the complaint until it authorizes a full investigation--something the Commission was unable to due as a result of the lack of a quorum at the FEC--and that the Commission cannot legally consider the matter in an open hearing without first conducting an investigation.
"Since John McCain has refused to acknowledge that he needs the FEC's permission to withdraw from the matching funds program, the Commission has a legal responsibility to remove this matter from its agenda and instead authorize a full investigation into our complaint," said DNC General Counsel Joe Sandler. "The American people have a right to know whether the John McCain who once championed himself as a reformer, saved his campaign by breaking the laws he helped craft. We are calling on the FEC to promptly conduct and conclude an investigation into the complaint we filed four months ago so that this issue can be resolved in the appropriate manner."