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Monday, February 25, 2008

The DNC Makes Me Laugh

I'm getting a laugh out of Howard Dean and the Democratic National Committee's filing of a complaint against John McCain for trying to withdraw from public financing of his campaign.

The root of the complaint is whether McCain actually pledged federal money to pay back loans to his campaign, or if, as he asserts, he pledged to pay it back, with federal money IF NECESSARY. Yes, it's lawyer speak, but that's why we have a Federal Elections Commission, to sort out that stuff.

I'm not actually sure who's right on the issue of whether McCain can withdraw or not. But the reasoning the FEC is giving for him not to withdraw is that no vote can be taken because there isn't a quorum on the committee. The basis of the Democrat's complaint is that McCain can't withdraw because he hasn't received an affirmative response from the FEC on his request, due to a lack of a quorum.

Now, what's the cause of the lack of quorum (during an election year) on the Federal Election Commission? The Democrats who control Congress! They've been holding up four nominees (of six positions) since last year. They haven't gotten votes in committee or on the floor to be placed on the commission, so the FEC is unable to function correctly during an election year.

To an extent I think this whole issue is kind of funny, because McCain was the author of a number of silly election rules, but at the same time it's not. The FEC needs to be able to function correctly, especially in election years. When Congress decides to 'play politics' with the Commission it shows just how screwed up that institution has become.

Howard Dean should be filing complaints against Harry Reid and the other leadership in the US Senate for not doing their job to make sure the FEC can function, then let the commission work on McCain's issue.

UPDATE: I wasn't able to find this information last night, but the Wall St. Journal was nice enough to publish it today. One of the reasons that McCain can't get a quorum vote on the FEC is that one Barak Obama placed a hold on one of the nominations after his recess appointment ended in December. The Commissioner's sin was to have been a Justice Department lawyer who defended a State's Right to require voters to have ID cards.

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