Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Globe Quietly Scoops the Times

The Boston Globe did it right.

The New York Times’ dubious piece that asserted that John McCain had an affair with a lobbyist whose ``clients often had with business before McCain’s Senate committee’’ – and thereby violating egregiously the public trust – was really nothing more than a stale recapitulation of a story of a man who has crusaded for government ethics. And who also has a habit of pushing ethical boundaries.

To keep the story from being nothing but old news, the Times added the hook of the Affair-that-Probably-Wasn’t to make it smell like fresh information.

On March 29, the Globe actually got something, no sex necessary. The paper reported that McCain, co-author of the McCain-Feingold campaign financing bill, is trying to get out of his own, legally binding, commitment to spending limits dictated by a law that dates to the Nixon Administration.

McCain applied for public funding – with a stipulated limit on campaign spending – when his campaign was broke. Now that he is raising tons of cash, he is trying to get out of the arrangement.

The Globe says McCain’s campaign used his eligibility for public funding to get on the ballots in Delaware and Ohio, ``instead of taking the time – and expense – of gathering signatures.’’

If McCain, the apparent Republican nominee, is not allowed to spend more than the law’s $85 million limit, he won’t be able to ``pay for ads, mailings, polls or travel,’’ until September, when the general election season begins.

McCain and Barack Obama had agreed to abide by the law if they face each other in the general election. Now that he is raising his own load of money, Obama is having second thoughts.

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