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Hobbled FEC Can’t Sue McCain,|So Democrats Want To Do It

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Federal Election Commission lost four members when their terms expired in January, so the FEC is unable to act on the Democratic National Committee's complaint that Sen. John McCain illegally pledged federal matching funds as collateral for a loan to his campaign, the DNC claims in Federal Court. The DNC asks the court to authorize it to sue McCain and his campaign.

The DNC's Feb. 25 complaint to the FEC alleged McCain "is not free to withdraw unilaterally from his agreement with the FEC and to ignore the legal requirements of the Matching Payment Act, without the FEC's approval. Yet Senator McCain cannot obtain such approval, because he has already violated a key condition for dispensing with the Agreement by which he entered the matching funds program: he has pledged matching funds as collateral for a loan to his campaign."

Because the FEC lacks a quorum, it cannot take any action against McCain or his campaign, the DNC says. The DNC says the FEC's failure to act is illegal, so it demands a court order "authorizing the DNC to bring a civil action to remedy the violations involved in the original complaint."

The DNC is represented by Joseph Sandler with Sandler Reiff & Young.

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