This story is wayyyy better than the NYT smear piece. Oh, and the irony so very very sweet:
John McCain had taken out (a loan), in which he tried to use his future eligibility for federal matching funds as collateral. Presumably, he did this in order to get the money he needed to keep his campaign afloat without using the matching finds themselves as collateral. And the reason it was important not to use those funds as collateral was that according to the FEC, doing so would constitute "accepting " those funds, and thus subjecting himself and his campaign to the limitations that go with it.
Read the rest here.
Also, Hilzoy (guest blogging at Sullivans place) gives additional background here.
So the campaign finance legislation that bears his name (McCain-Feingold) could also be the law that limits the amount of money that he can spend to win the presidency. I'm going to fire off a letter to the FEC right now.