October 21, 2008

As McCain's henchman Rick Davis was trying to label as "Secret Donations" amounts that are under the disclosure limits of the bill McCain himself wrote on campaign finance, and suggesting that Obama is taking in illegal foreign donations...

... the worst-run presidential campaign in history was rolling into another blunder.

John McCain's presidential election campaign has solicited a financial contribution from an unlikely source -- Russia's U.N. envoy -- but a McCain spokesman said on Monday it was a mistake.

In the letter, McCain urged Russia's U.N. Ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, to contribute anywhere from $35 (20 pounds) to $5,000 (2,912 pounds) to help ensure McCain's victory over Democratic rival Sen. Barack Obama, currently ahead in voter preference polls. "If I have the honour of continuing to serve you, I make you this promise: We will always put America -- her strength, her ideals, her future -- before every other consideration," McCain assured Churkin.

Moscow's mission to the United Nations issued a terse statement on the Republican presidential candidate's letter, saying that the Russian government and its officials "do not finance political activity in foreign countries."

Yes, it was almost certainly a database error, and more than a few people as finding it amusing as hell. But it also undermines the McCain campaign's narrative in the most embarassing way.

It also leaves some questions open. The FEC's notes on public financing say:

A major party nominee who has accepted public funding for the general election may not accept any contributions to further his election. You may, however, help a publicly funded nominee by contributing to the candidate's compliance fund. A compliance fund is a special account maintained by publicly funded nominees solely for paying legal and accounting expenses incurred in complying with the campaign finance law. You may contribute up to $2,300 to the compliance fund of a major party nominee.

$5,000 dollars is over the limit set for the FEC. The campaign still was sending out to ask for money even though it has accepted public finance so was it clearly asking for a contribution to the compliance fund?

Time for an FEC audit of McCain's finances. That's what FOX and the rest would be baying for if this was an Obama campaign letter.

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