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McCain campaign exploits donation loophole

Sept. 20, 2008 at 7:13 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- The adviser who helped John McCain re-write campaign finance laws is now helping him exploit their loopholes, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Trevor Potter, a former Federal Elections Commission chairman, helped Republican U.S. presidential nominee McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, team with Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., to craft a 2002 law to discourage the influence of big money in elections. But now Potter is helping McCain find ways around it as a presidential candidate, the newspaper said.

As chief of the reform group The Campaign Legal Center, Potter once warned that an FEC ruling allowing some types of private donations to political campaigns that accept public funding would be exploited as a legal loophole, and now the McCain campaign is doing just that in a series of new Web-based campaign ads, the Times reported.

The McCain campaign wouldn't allow Potter to speak with the newspaper for an interview. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said in a written statement that the campaign had not yet paid for the Web ads with a special fund set up to comply with the FEC regulations, but says it "reserves the option to do so under this recent, clear FEC precedent."

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