POLITICS
03/28/2008 02:45 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Financial Straightjacket: McCain May Be Locked Into Public Financing

The day of the Florida primary I wrote about John McCain's financial dilemma:

Some months back McCain's campaign applied for federal matching campaign funds. (The money comes from individual taxpayers who voluntarily check off a $3 contribution on their income tax return.) In December seven campaigns were officially notified that they qualified for matching funds. However, because of a funding shortfall, none of the federal matching funds have been released. Apparently the fund reserves the money needed for the general election before it starts to pay out matching funds for the primary, and until monies arrive from this year's tax returns, the fund doesn't have enough money to deliver money for the primary. John Edwards secured a bank loan against the federal funds, so he is officially locked in to abiding by the spending limits in the event he gets the nomination.

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