To the victor goes not just the spoils, but also the cover.
Posted by sanityinjection on November 12, 2008
In the wake of President-Elect Obama’s campaign which raised more money, and documented it more poorly, than any campaign in American history, guess whose campaign is going to be audited by the FEC? McCain’s.
What’s that you say? Doesn’t make sense? Surely the undocumented sources of funding for Obama, some of which are alleged to be illegal foreign funding, deserve at least an audit? And why audit one side’s campaign and not the other? Especially since an audit requires the campaign to spend millions more to defend itself.
First, the FEC is auditing McCain’s campaign because they have to, by law. McCain accepted public funds for the general election which automatically triggers an audit. This is as it should be – American taxpayers have the right to insist that their money is spent legally and properly. McCain’s already raised about $9 million in a special fund to cover the cost of defending the audit.
So the question is, why isn’t Obama’s campaign being audited? There is no legal requirement to do so, but there have certainly been plenty of complaints filed with the FEC reagrding improprieties. The answer we are getting is that the alleged improprieties don’t rise to the level of an audit because they are dwarfed by the huge total that Obama raised. In other words, anything that was done wrong was a drop in the bucket.
I can accept that in principle, but it just seems odd for the FEC to make the loser of the election pay a $9 million penalty that the winner doesn’t have to pay. How about if, in exchange for not being audited, the Obama campaign pays the McCain campaign’s defense costs? Wouldn’t that be a nice bipartisan gesture?