It’s “Federal matching funds” time! That’s the portion of our tax forms that sums up the government mindset in two sentences: “Do you wish to contribute $3 to the Presidential Campaign Fund? By checking ‘yes’ you will not reduce your return.”

You can tell that’s written by government bureaucrats. Where else can I contribute something without contributing something? It’s a trick though, because we’ve already “contributed” it — unvoluntarily — which doesn’t exactly make it a contribution and certainly means they don’t have to waste our time making us answer the question. You have to love big government.

At any rate, Christmas came a little early for some of the candidates:

The Federal Election Commission, facing imminent crippling over a confirmation stalemate, on Thursday approved more than $19 million in matching taxpayer money for seven cash-strapped presidential candidates.

Democrat John Edwards will get $8.8 million in federal funds, and Republican John McCain $5.8 million.

The money — which technically will not be released until March — will be a boon to Edwards and McCain, whose campaigns have shown renewed signs of life as their respective fields have shifted.

Dennis Kucinich got $100,000 — not a huge amount, but enough for another year’s subscription to UFO Spotters Guide, two pairs of Gucci platform shoes and a lunch with Sean Penn at Chez Flighty.


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