has ever been anything else, it's been a long time:
Democratic Party officials want a federal judge to order an investigation into whether Sen. John McCain violated election laws by withdrawing from public financing, saying federal regulators are too weak to act on their own.
A lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission, to be filed Monday in U.S. District Court, questions the agency's ability to enforce the law and review McCain's decision to opt out of the system. The Republican presidential candidate, who had been entitled to $5.8 million in federal funds for the primary campaign, decided earlier this year to give up that money so he could avoid strict spending limits between now and the GOP's national convention in September.
During a conference call with reporters Sunday, DNC officials said the FEC is unable to act because four of its six seats are vacant. They want a judge to either order the FEC to begin an immediate review, or allow the Democratic Party to file a lawsuit against McCain's campaign challenging his decision.
Tom McMahon, the party's executive director, said "there is a compelling public interest in determining whether Senator McCain agreed to participate in the matching funds program so he could get a loan for his campaign, then violated the terms of that agreement so he could ignore the spending cap and raise unlimited money from lobbyists and special interests."
The DNC is seeking civil fines or an order barring McCain from exceeding spending limits, said DNC general counsel Joe Sandler.