Federal Politics

Published — August 13, 2015 Updated — October 21, 2015 at 3:18 pm ET

Federal Election Commission finally names top lawyer — sort of

Daniel Petalas to serve as acting general counsel while search continues

Introduction

After 767 days without anyone leading its legal department, the Federal Election Commission has a new top lawyer.

Sort of.

Daniel A. Petalas, associate general counsel for enforcement, will serve a 120-day stint as the FEC’s acting general counsel following a unanimoius vote by the agency’s six commissioners. His temporary appointment is effective Aug. 24.

The decision ends a protracted stalemate among the commissioners — three Republican and three Democratic appointees — who’ve gone without anyone leading their legal department since former general counsel Tony Herman resigned on July 5, 2013.

The FEC is charged with regulating and enforcing the nation’s campaign finance laws.

Chairwoman Ann Ravel, a Democrat, acknowledged being “surprised” that the often ideologically divided commissioners finally reached an agreement to name an acting general counsel.

Why now?

“Daniel has earned the confidence of all the members of the commission for his presentation of legal issues,” Ravel said.

In a statement Thursday, FEC Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen, a Republican, called Petalas “a highly skilled lawyer” who is likely to “excel in this capacity.”

Petalas has supervised the FEC’s work on potential federal campaign finance violations since 2012. He previously worked 10 years for the U.S. Department of Justice as a trial attorney in its public integrity section.

A vote to appoint Petalas acting general counsel took place Tuesday during a closed-door meeting of the body, not during a public session.

Ravel said the vote was not conducted publicly because it involved an internal personnel matter.

Commissioners, Ravel said, also agreed Tuesday to actively recruit a permanent general counsel — an effort that had been tabled during most of this year. Both internal and external candidates will be considered, she said.

The FEC will also seek to this year fill two other high-level vacancies in its general counsel office, which oversees enforcement, litigation and policy matters, among its various responsibilities.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

thomas alessi
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thomas alessi

I am for Trump

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.