Ya know that maverick, McCain? The one who says he's not part of the old boy's network? The McCain that swears he's different and he's all about "change?" The dude that's not a "party person?"
Well, he's out raising money for The Old Boys all around the nation.
Republican John McCain is asking donors to give far in excess of what they can contribute to him directly, even as he is limited to taking only public funds for the fall campaign.
McCain's fundraising is legal because the money he is asking for does not come straight to him. He is collecting funds for federal and state GOP committees that will aid his White House bid. Donors can give a total of nearly $70,000 to these committees, far in excess of the $2,300 individuals can give directly to a candidate.
The Arizona senator appeared at a $4 million fundraiser Monday night in Chicago where donors gave anywhere from $1,000 to nearly $70,000. Most of the money was split among the RNC and state parties in the battleground states of Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania, according to Bill Strong, who helped organize the event.
Contributors who gave at least $25,000 attended a private dinner with McCain.
Strong said enthusiasm among donors was high, partly because of vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. "We got unsolicited telephone calls from female executives in the Chicago area offering to contribute money," he said. "Fundraising has accelerated since the convention."
Bounds said McCain would do more fundraising for the joint committees; he couldn't say how much.
Jan Baran, a top GOP ethics lawyer, said the joint fundraising is not unusual. But he noted "there's an irony there that Sen. McCain is swearing off private money for his own campaign … but actively raising money for party organizations."