Straight Talk!


John McCain said he would take public election funds and abide by the FEC's spending caps, so, naturally, John McCain will not take public funds or abide by the spending caps.

With the Republican presidential nomination within reach, John McCain is reshaping his campaign to press on without public financing that could limit his spring spending, senior advisers say.

The Arizona senator's rejection of the presidential public financing program he once defended is just the latest evidence of how ineffective the post-Watergate reform has become in an era of multimillion-dollar candidacies.

Indeed, because he originally said he wouldn't take public funds, then when his campaign faltered he went back on that, but "so far he hasn't received a penny of public money, since the FEC's primary account is as broke as McCain's August war chest." Also:

Any challenge would put the issue on the table of the FEC, which isn't meeting these days because of a congressional fight over appointees.

reason has been on the broken-CFR beat for a while. McCain almost rode the issue to the GOP nomination eight years ago. Also worth reading: Liberal Mark Schmitt's argument against the current CFR regime and acknowledgement that the issue has faded.