McCain ignores one little detail
The non-partisan John McCain comes to the defense of Congressman Mark Green, the jJS reports. I've boldfaced a pertinent part of the statement that appears to have escaped Steve Walters' attention:
And he calls his PAC "Straight Talk America?"
McCain calls Green cash transfer OK
U.S. Sen John McCain (R-Ariz.) inserted himself into the campaign to elect the next Wisconsin governor today, saying Republican candidate Mark Green legally moved almost $1.3 million from his Congressional campaign fund to his run-for-government state account early in 2005.
McCain and U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) sponsored a federal campaign finance law that bears their names, but it's also a law that a Dane County judge and state Justice Department lawyers say prevents Green from transferring all but $43,128 of the $1.3 million.
The state Elections Board has ordered Green to divest $467,844 of that -- an order he has vowed to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Tomorrow, Democrats on the Elections Board will ask that it order him to give up another $775,000.
In a statement issue by his leadership committee, Straight Talk American, McCain said this:
When we passed the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act, it was never our intention, or even part of the debate on the bill, to prohibit federal candidates from using funds legally raised for federal office to make donations to candidates for state or local office, or to convert the balance of their federal account to run for a state or local office so long as the state law permitted these purposes.
In the process of implementing BCRA, the Federal Election Commission asked Congress to clarify that federal law did not prohibit such donations and conversions. In 2005, the US Congress acted, freeing members of Congress to use their campaign accounts to run for state and local offices, as well as to donate funds to candidates for state and local offices.
A Green campaign aide said he did not know who asked McCain to issue the statement. But state Republican Party officials said it "clears" the Republican candidate of charges from campaign aides to Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle that Green broke the law.
UPDATE: Seth Zlotocha dissects the Court of McCain decision.
UPDATE 2: The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign says it agrees with McCain -- the transfer is illegal.