Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

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?


5 Responses to “To the victor goes not just the spoils, but also the cover.”

  1. Thanks for the daily dose! The answer is watchdogging pure and simple. I absolutely support McCain’s campaign being audited. I think that despite his opting out of the campaign finance system, Obama’s campaign should be subjected to the same rigorous review. Moreover, Obama has been very vocal about the role of the FEC and the need to have a robust public financing system (despite his declining flip flop on participating). I’ve drafted and am circulating a petition to the FEC to audit his campaign because while not mandatory, it is within their discretion to do so. I would love to have you and any of your readers check it out and participate.

    The text and link to the petion can be found below:

  2. sanityinjection said

    I think it’s very well written, but is there any evidence that a government body has ever changed its mind about anything as a result of an online petition? The partisan makeup of the FEC board pretty much dooms this noble effort from the beginning. What Democrat appointee is going to vote to audit his new Boss? He might as well resign right now.

  3. Not that I’m aware of but to me, its worth it just to be a thorn in the side of the status quo. Hence the political hereitc label and unlike McCain, I don’t believe that going maverick means comprimising principles. Comprimise polic, I’m all for it. Comprimise principles, hell no.

  4. Damned compromise, I shouldn’t be allowed to blog without spellcheck.

    Honestly though, I’m pretty sure that that’s why the FEC commission has three Republicans and three Democrats. It will be deadlocked from the get go and hence nothing substative will change unless something drastic were to occur in which case the “defectors” would have political cover. Heaven forbid they should be maybe three retired federal judges and four CPAs and maybe display a modicum of impartiallity and independence.

  5. sanityinjection said

    The Denver Post gets it:

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