John McCain Campaign Responds to Campaign Finance Complaint

Since our earlier post about a complaint filed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee against Senator John McCain regarding some TV ads The Maverick funded -- and starred in -- the McCain campaign's responded to the charges.

The DCCC feels that two ads McCain released violate the McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform act -- which's ironic, of course, because McCain's name is attached to that legislation.

The ads are for Congressional candidates Jesse Kelly and Ruth McClung and are similar in nature to "campaign ads" run by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in which he didn't so much hype himself but rather bash the opponents of other candidates he supports.

The DCCC's complaint, filed with the Federal Election Commission, says the ads should be considered a political donation to a candidate that exceeds the non-cash donation limit set forth in the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act.

See the full complaint here.

McCain's campaign spokesman, Brian Rogers, says the complaint is "frivolous," and only "intended as a publicity stunt." 

"The DCCC is grasping at straws and misstating the law in a desperate attempt to assist their weak candidates. 'Coordination' has a very specific legal meaning under the FEC regulations, and involves sharing campaign strategy and plans -- not just appearing on the same stage, but that is the nonsense the Democrats are selling," Rogers tells New Times. "The fact is, the FEC put in place specific coordination rules and the McCain campaign is carefully following them. The advertisements are fully disclosed, and paid for with Senator McCain's federal campaign funds, as required by law.

"We expect and welcome more flailing attacks from the DCCC -- they serve only to spotlight Representative Grijalva's calls for a boycott of his own state and Representative Giffords' votes for the failed Pelosi-Obama agenda. So keep it coming."

Whether the ads violate campaign finance laws will be determined by the FEC. Either way, McCain should be applauded for one thing: not using campaign money to shoot a cringe-worthy music video for an Arizona-themed Lynrd Skynyrd revival, which is more than we can say about his Democratic Senate opponent, Rodney Glassman (see below).

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James King
Contact: James King