Yesterday on February 26, both the campaign of Arizona Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, and the bank in Bethesda, Maryland has defended the four million dollar loan. In regards to the loan, due to McCain’s age, the bank requested that the candidate get a life insurance plan because they were concerned if would still be alive. McCain did hand the bank a list of donors. But, the bank had said that the lists were good if McCain was still alive.
In the recent months, McCain’s age was somewhat of an issue. Martial arts actor Chuck Norris had endorsed Mike Huckabee because he had felt John McCain was too old to be running for US president.
In the case of the loan, Democrats such as the DNC Chairman Howard Dean has questioned if the loan was legal. They have said that the way the loan was secured had required McCain to abide by restrictions by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
McCain’s lawyer, Trevor Potter, and former chairman of the FEC said in a letter than the acquisition of the loans was legal. He also said that it should not stop McCain from opting out of public financing.
On Monday, February 25, the DNC issued and filed a complaint with the FEC on how the four million dollar loan was made. They said that McCain used the promise of the federal matching funds as collateral. The four million dollar loan was considered the one thing that had kept McCain’s campaign alive back in 2007. There was a high chance that McCain’s candidacy could have been killed last year. But, it was not the case as McCain has found his way to become the GOP frontrunner.
The dispute between the Democrats and McCain’s campaign focuses on some parts of campaign finance law. But, in regards to McCain’s presidency, it is a very serious dispute. In the previous year when McCain’s campaign looked to be dying, he applied for public financing.
Then in February, McCain opted to back out of public financing. In order to exit the system, McCain had to show the FEC that he had not been given public funds along with not using the promise of public funding as collateral in getting a loan. McCain will be subjected to the $54 million spending cap until September if he is forced to remain in the system of public funding.
However, Barry C. Watkins, the president of the Fidelity & Trust Bank said that the loan was secured and not with collateral. Instead, the loan was secured with the promise of raising more money in the future. So far, McCain has been raising millions of dollars for his campaign.
“McCain has been raising money for a long period of time,” Watkins has explained. He added: “It was that long history that meant there was little risk.”
But the loan has still brought up questions.