Matching funds: Does it seem like a good idea?Submitted by jeff34761 on Wed, 01/30/2008 - 18:52
Jan 29, 2008
John McCain is considering backing out of public financing now that his presidential campaign is raking in the cash. But it could be tougher getting out than it was getting in, thanks to a political battle that has crippled the agency overseeing federal election laws. And that could be bad news for McCain. Funded by taxpayers who check off a box on their annual returns, the program matches private contributions with taxpayer money. If the program had cash, the U.S. Treasury would have started making payments soon after the first of the year. But the Federal Election Commission, which runs the program, predicts payments won’t start flowing until sometime next month.
Even if McCain decided not to accept the payments, he’d need the FEC to vote to allow him to withdraw from the system. But a partisan dispute over nominations in the Senate has denied the six-seat panel the four members necessary for a quorum.
So lets recap, you have to apply months before to even get matching funds. If you apply they will probably come late. Once you accept any money, you are in.. and subject to spending limits in both the primary and general elections. And even if you decide you want out before the money hits your account, you need approval for a board that does not have enough members for a quorum.
Sounds like something to avoid, if possible.