THE BASIS POINT

McCain Finds Campaign Finance Loophole (Besides 527 Groups)

Apparently John McCain has found a campaign finance loophole to help raise more money for his presidential bid and to compete with Obama who raised so much money from individual contributors, he has opted out of the public financing model which limits him to $80m. Not that the 527 Group structure doesn’t already engineer its way around the contribution limit for public financing.

Interestingly, conservative Fox-owned Wall Street Journal broke this piece on McCain, and perhaps evens the playing field between the two candidates now that both have shown weaknesses in the public campaign finance model. But if the Republicans choose to make this into another manufactured issue to combat Obama (and they will even if McCain doesn’t endorse it), Obama is vulnerable. The GOP is good at formulating everyman messages and sticking to them. So they’ll beat on the fact that Obama opted out of public financing and McCain didn’t because he’s a true believer in America and Values and The Troops and the like. McCain is gaming the system, but he’s officially in the system. Obama chose to play a different game, and the Democrats truly do have a valid case that Obama’s mass fundraising from small donations (not just big chunks of money) does translate into public financing — not to mention it is the truest representation of our capitalist structure.

Basis Point of Disclosure: This news outlet supports Obama.