John McCain has officially broken the limits imposed by the presidential public financing system, according to spending reports filed last week by the campaign.
The senator from Arizona has spent $58.4 million on his Republican primary effort. Those who have committed to public financing can spend no more than $54 million on their primary bid.
McCain's lawyers contend that the spending cap no longer applies. The senator was certified to enter the matching-funds program last year when he was starved for cash. But once he started to win, he decided to hold off. On Feb. 6, after his Super Tuesday victories, he wrote to the Federal Election Commission to announce he would withdraw. His lawyers said that gave him freedom to spend as much as he wanted.
This seems like the quintessential story of hypocrisy, no? The "straight-talking" Senator responsible for passing campaign finance reform legislation is now breaking his own rules simply because it's convenient. Hopefully the media will snap out of it's collective love affair with McCain and point out this rather glaring contradiction. Oh, who am I kidding.
Hopefully the DNC's pending FEC complaint will yield some results.