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  • Press Release

FEC Certifies Funds for McCain General Election Campaign

September 8, 2008


For Immediate Release


Bob Biersack

September 8, 2008

Mary Brandenberger



FEC Certifies Funds for McCain General Election Campaign

WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission Friday approved payment of $84.1 million in federal funds for the general election campaign of John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Following certification of the request for funds, the FEC immediately notified the U.S. Treasury Department, which made the wire transfer to the McCain-Palin campaign.

McCain-Palin 2008 Inc. requested the funding in a letter to the Commission dated September 4, 2008. In that letter the candidates agreed to abide by the overall spending limit (there are no state-by-state limits) and to other legal requirements, including a post-campaign audit.                                             

Presidential candidates accepting the federal payment are subject to a spending limit of $84.1 million, the amount of the payment, plus a combined personal spending limit of $50,000 from their personal funds. (All expenditures made by or on behalf of a Vice-Presidential candidate are considered to be made on behalf of the Presidential candidate.)  Additional funds may be raised, subject to the limits and prohibitions of the Federal Election Campaign Act, for legal and accounting expenses.  These are commonly referred to as GELAC accounts.

Each national party committee has an additional $19.1 million spending limit, which it may spend in coordination with the Presidential campaign.  These monies must be raised from private sources, subject to the limits and prohibitions of the statute, and must be reported by the party.

By law, 26 U.S.C. 9001, et. seq., the Presidential nominees of both major parties are each entitled to $20 million, plus a cost-of-living adjustment calculated from 1974, when the federal payment program began. The following amounts were given to major party nominees for each of the eight previous federally funded Presidential elections:

’04 - $74.62 million

’88 - $46.1 million

’00 - $67.56 million

’84 - $40.4 million

‘96 - $61.82 million

’80 - $29.44million

’92 - $55.24 million

’76 - $21.82 million

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Established in 1975, the FEC is composed of six Commissioners who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.