This means that McCain will receive more than $80 million in public money, which is collected in $3 increments from taxpayers who choose to contribute. But it also means he has to abide by spending limits that will put his campaign at a distinct disadvantage financially when placed up against the fundraising behemoth that has been Barack Obama's campaign.[more]
McCain did opt out of the public financing system for the primaries after early victories helped him raise money and fill what had been empty coffers. As Salon's Mike Madden detailed in this space on Tuesday, Democrats aren't happy about that decision. They allege that in taking a loan partially secured by a pledge to accept federal funding if it became necessary to do so, he essentially opted in. Spending limits come with such a decision, and McCain has spent more than allowed under those limits. This, Democrats say, means McCain is breaking the law.