Thursday, October 21, 2010

FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS: McCain Campaign Claims It Filed Disclosures, None With The FEC

UPDATE: Moments ago, Friends of John McCain filed its required independent expenditure report with the FEC.  Details to come.

The "Friends of John McCain" ads featuring Sens. McCain and Kyl touting GOP congressional challengers Ruth McClung (CD7) and Jesse Kelly (CD8) have prompted the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ("DCCC") to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission ("FEC").

The complaint suggests that the ads violate campaign finance laws because they are either improper coordinated expenditures benefitting the challengers, or are unreported independent expenditures.

The McCain campaign has told reporters that the ads are neither.  To the Phoenix New Times, campaign spokesman Brian Rogers detailed how there was not coordination.  However, to the Washington Post, they indicate that the campaign did declare them as independent expenditures.  According to the Washington Post, the campaign released "documents showing that it reported the ads as "independent expenditures" to the Senate this week." As the Post next noted, the DCCC complaint states otherwise.

Arizona's Politics has not been able to find any evidence that "Friends of John McCain" reported anything to the FEC.  As readers of this blog know, Arizona's Politics follows the FEC's database of independent expenditures very closely.  Nothing was filed this week - or, in previous weeks.  Friends of John McCain did file its quarterly report last week.  It covers the period through September 30, 2010, so it is unlikely to include these new ads;  however, just to be safe, Arizona's Politics did search the 943-page report for "McClung" (and "Clung", just in case they inadvertently put in a space between the "Mc" and "Clung").  Nothing.

Likewise, Arizona's Politics could not find any evidence that the U.S. Senate has posted some report erroneously filed there.  Regardless, the McCain campaign no doubt knows that it is required to file the report with the FEC.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com. Thanks.

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