Kerry Campaign Flouting Campaign Laws?

Mary Beth Cahill has sent me another e-mail. I shan’t fisk the whole thing but the opener caught my attention:

Because August 31 is so critical, a group of leading Democrats has established a special “Don’t Yield an Inch” matching fund. These stalwart supporters of our party have agreed to match, dollar-for-dollar, every contribution you make between now and the end of August — up to $2 million.

In George Bush’s dreams, the closing days of this month will see Bush’s August fundraising advantage overwhelm John Kerry, who had to end his primary campaign fundraising five weeks earlier than Bush. But, in the real world, the Democratic Party’s “Don’t Yield an Inch” matching fund drive will show George Bush and his allies that every time they attack us, our supporters step up to make us even stronger.

In George Bush’s dreams, the GOP convention will deliver a devastating blow to John Kerry as August draws to a close. And Bush wants to enter the critical post-Labor Day phase of the campaign with an edge over an opponent severely weakened by his campaign’s fundraising advantage and by his willingness to wage a relentlessly negative campaign.

But, in the real world, Bush and the Republicans are about to learn that the genuine August advantage belongs to our side, not theirs. We’re following John Kerry’s lead and we’re not backing down — not now, not at the most critical point in the most important election of our lifetime, not ever. [Emphasis in original]

First, I’d point to the bold text: Aren’t the Democrats always the ones whining about rich fat cat donors? And yet they’ve got people that have apparently unlimited pocketbooks willing to match unspecified contributions?

Second, what is it that they’re going to spend the money on? Kerry has accepted federal funds and thus can not spend other money on the campaign, as per FEC guidelines:

The Presidential nominee of each major party may become eligible for a public grant of $20 million (plus a cost-of-living adjustment) for campaigning in the general election.7 To be eligible to receive the public funds, the candidate must limit spending to the amount of the grant and may not accept private contributions for the campaign. Private contributions may, however, be accepted for a special account maintained exclusively to pay for legal and accounting expenses associated with complying with the campaign finance law. These legal and accounting expenses are not subject to the expenditure limit.

As I understand McCain-Feingold, they also can’t spend it under the old “soft money” rules. (And, since he has also accepted federal funds, President Bush is under the same strictures starting with the convention.)

Finally, what’s up with the high schoolish rhetoric? Why not simply say you need it to fend off expected high expenditures on part of the GOP and that it’s a critical election and so forth?

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. La Shawn says:

    High schoolish rhetoric is apt. It “feels” that way to me, too. Perhaps fired-up interns are writing their material.

  2. Jay Solo says:

    If anyone would like to see a full fisking, I believe Katie at Resplendant Mango did one. She and James seem to be on that same fun mailing list.

  3. bryan says:

    I wish I could get on this fun mailing list. It sure beats Viagra ads and urgent requests from nigeria. 🙂

  4. Tim says:

    If you do read the whole email, it’s stated that the contributions are being solicited for the Democratic National Committee. There’s nothing insidious there – my Republican wife gets a similar plea from the Bushies nearly everyday, as I suspect most of you do.

  5. McGehee says:

    There’s nothing insidious there – my Republican wife gets a similar plea from the Bushies nearly everyday, as I suspect most of you do.

    Signed by the Bush-Cheney campaign chairman? Uh, no.