Edwards Could Lose Millions in Matching Funds

$4.3M in ActBlue web donations may violate election law
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 19, 2007 4:08 PM CST
Democratic presidential candidate, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., participate in a "Presidential Forum on Global Warming and America's Energy Future," in Los Angeles Saturday, Nov. 17, 2007. (AP Photo/Reed...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – A tricky online fundraising format could dent John Edwards’ clean donations reputation—and cost him millions in federal funds. Edwards is the only top-tier Democrat accepting public financing, which matches individual donations up to $250. The system's exclusion of  funds “drawn on the account of a committee” may imperil matching for $4.3 million from ActBlue, which funnels online donations, the Politico reports.

The populist southerner has asked the FEC to rule on ActBlue's eligibility, arguing that it should be treated as a processing agent for individual donations. Complicating matters, Edwards has spun his decision to go with public financing—largely a matter of desperate financial straits—as a stand against special interests. The latest twist in the PAC storyline could mean bad publicity.