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Numerous media outlets have reported all or part of Sen. John McCain's statement rebuking Sen. Barack Obama for his decision to forgo public financing in the general election without mentioning that during the primary, McCain signed a loan agreement that could have forced him to remain in the race -- even if he had no chance of winning -- in order to be eligible for public matching funds to repay the loan. The New York Times has described the loan as being "secured in part by the promise of federal matching money for the primaries." Nor did these reports point out that Federal Election Commission (FEC) chairman David Mason has taken the position that McCain cannot legally opt out of public financing for the primary without FEC approval and that in the same letter, Mason asked the McCain campaign to expand upon its assertion that it had not "pledged the certification of Matching Payment funds as security for private financing." If McCain's campaign is not allowed to withdraw from the public financing system and if it is found to have raised and spent money beyond public financing limits, its actions "could put McCain at risk of stiff fines and up to five years in prison," according to The Washington Post.