While we're bashing McCain, it's worth noting that at the end of this article , his presidential exploratory committee says he will likely decline public funding, and the limits on spending and fundraising that come with it.
Despite all of McCain's heavy-handed moralizing about the corrupting influence of money in politics, it's hard to blame him. To be competitive, he'll likely need several times the amount of money he'd get from federal matching funds.
From the primaries to November, total campaign spending for the 2008 presidential election will probably approach $1 billion. Throw in congressional elections, and you're well over that mark.
I actually agree with McCain on some level: I find the ever-increasing amount of money in federal politics distressing. But not because I don't think people should be able to criticize politicians. I find it distressing because it means the presidency, the Congress, and the federal government have grown so powerful that private Americans are willing to collectively spend more than $1 billion of their own money to make sure their favored candidate and party control them. With a few exceptions, those contributors are spending all of that money because they're anticipating a good return.
When you see the inevitable stories about how much money will be spent on the 2008 election, the spin will likely be something along the lines of how we should be worried because all of that money is buying influence. A better question would be why so much influence is on the table in the first place.