John McCain is trying to opt out the spending restrictions that he agreed to when he opted into the Federal public financing system last fall. TPM has a complete run down of the details.
The problem is that the head of the FEC has ruled that since he used the public financing as collateral for a loan he is bound by his spending commitments until the general election. The general election starts for Mr. McCain after he is officially nominated as the Republican candidate at the Republican convention.
Mr. McCain's response is one that you would expect from our current President. He does not like the verdict so McCain claims he is not bound by the decision since it is just one man's opinion. We can call this the McCain principal, it will extend the Bush principal of Presidential prerogative to Presidential candidates as well. According to the Bush principal, the President, and any member of his executive branch, can legally do any thing it wants as long as a member of the Justice Department writes a legal opinion stating that the said activity is legal. I'm sure that McCain has some member of his legal team writing an opinion right now that states that McCain can tell the FEC to take a flying fuck. So McCain, as a Presidential candidate with a legal opinion in hand is free to break the law with impunity.
Odds are that if McCain becomes President, the lawyer writing this opinion will be our next Attorney General.
It is truly ironic that the law he wants to break is one that his maverick alter ego passed. But, that was only supposed to apply to others, not this exalted "straight shooter".
I truly hope that the FEC runs his sorry ass through the ringer. But, more importantly I hope the American electorate sees him for the fraud he is, and does not elect him President. I do not much faith that a Democratic President will repeal and/or rollback many of the executive excesses of the current President once they have the power to use them. But, this incident shows that McCain will have no compunction against using these new powers to the fullest, and will expand them where possible.
If our laws are to have any meaning at all, this shit has got to stop.