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McCain Bashes RNC Attorneys as Campaign Reform Fibbers
The Washington Post (AP) ^ | 2/24/03 | Sharon Theimer

Posted on 03/08/2003 5:56:52 PM PST by truthserum

McCain: GOP Misrepresents Campaign Law

By SHARON THEIMER The Associated Press Monday, February 24, 2003; 3:40 PM

Republican Sen. John McCain on Monday accused his party of misleading GOP activists about the nation's new campaign finance law and employing "scorched earth" scare tactics to make the rules look more restrictive than they are.

McCain sent a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Marc Racicot accusing Republican lawyers of spreading "falsehoods" about several aspects of the law during recent briefings for party members.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: cfrlist; silenceamerica
I read the article on Senator McCain's dismay about representations made by certain Republic Party attorneys about the impact of the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. I suppose Senator McCain might know of what he speaks. But if I do suppose that, I must first discount his ignorance about federal law more generally. To call a man ignorant may seem unkind, perhaps even unfounded. Senator McCain demonstrated his ignorance, on the record, in a deposition taken during the discovery phase of the campaign finance reform litigation.

I am counsel of record for the plaintiffs in Echols v. FEC, No. 02-cv-633. That action solely focuses on the ban imposed by the BCRA on the right of persons under the age of 18 to contribute to political parties and to the campaigns of federal candidates. In my capacity as counsel for a group of young people from the Southeastern United States, I conducted the last 15 minutes of Senator McCain's deposition. One of my areas of inquiry was the impact of the minors' restriction on young men and women enlisted in the United States Armed Forces.

I asked Senator McCain about the decision to bar soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coastguardsmen from participating in the political process by donating portions of their meager pay to parties and candidates of their choosing. Senator McCain discounted the concern because minors are not permitted to enlist in the United States Armed Forces. Specifically, he stated: "I'm not sure that I accept your premise that you can join at 17. I believe that it's 18. We'll find out. We'll have someone find out." That statement is on the record, and may be found in Vol. 1, Echols Plaintiffs' Trial Exhibits, Tab 19, at 291.

The United States permits the Secretary of Defense to "accept original enlistments in the Regular Army, Regular Navy, Regular Air Force, Regular Marine Corps, or Regular Coast Guard, as the case may be, of qualified, effective, and able-bodied persons who are not less than seventeen years of age" except that "no person under eighteen years of age may be originally enlisted without the written consent of his parent or guardian, if he has a parent or guardian entitled to his custody or control." See Title 10 U.S.C. § 505(a) (emphasis added). Moreover, some branches of the United States Armed Forces actively recruit within that younger than community. See ("You must be at least 17 to join"); ("Be between the ages of 17-27. If you are 17, you'll need parental consent").

I will confess no particular surprise that Senator McCain never subsequently acknowledged his ignorance and error on this topic. I will confess no particular surprise that -- even as he supports the decision of our Commander in Chief to put America's soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and coastguardsmen into the thick for the liberation of Iraq and the defeat of terror -- Senator McCain has never expressed regret or apologies to the minors who serve and who have been silenced by his vote in favor of the BCRA gag rule for minors.

James M. Henderson, Sr. Senior Counsel The American Center for Law and Justice, Inc.

1 posted on 03/08/2003 5:56:52 PM PST by truthserum
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To: truthserum
As I understand it, the advice given by the attorneys to Republican politicians was intended to keep them from unknowingly breaking the law and getting fined or sent to jail, not to make Senator McCain look bad.

Your story doesn't surprise me. One of McCain's aides who was present at the time should have made a note of your point and looked into it. Senators usually consider themselves above such "details." Evidently McCain's staff screwed up.

That was precisely the point made by the Republican attorneys. Complicated bills are written by staff members, and not even the sponsors probably know what is in them.
2 posted on 03/08/2003 6:03:13 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: *CFR List; *Silence, America!
3 posted on 03/08/2003 6:03:59 PM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: truthserum
Inside the mind of McCain:


4 posted on 03/08/2003 6:06:43 PM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is slavery.)
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: truthserum
It's an honor to have you as a member of Free Republic.

Strange, isn't it, McCain a Vietnam War hero and former serviceman, a United States Senator, has no idea the age of enlistment? And when informed of the fact that is 17, not 18, decries the truth of it what is a very simple fact.

I guess that old joke is true: What do you call a lawyer with an IQ of 60?


Thank you for your service, truthserum!
6 posted on 03/08/2003 7:47:43 PM PST by Auntie Mame (Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.--Mark Twain)
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