Federal Politics

Published — January 10, 2014 Updated — May 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm ET

Hacking attempt draws congressional investigation of FEC

Center report highlighted woes at election watchdog

Introduction

Two congressional leaders — one Republican and one Democrat — are calling for investigations into Federal Election Commission computer security and operational breakdowns that the Center for Public Integrity detailed in a recent report.

The report revealed that Chinese hackers crashed the FEC’s computer information technology systems in October just as the federal government shut down, and that the agency is suffering from chronic staffing shortages. A subsequent audit the FEC commissioned revealed a variety of other security issues.

“The revelations that FEC IT systems were compromised raises serious concerns,” said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House Government Operations Subcommittee which oversees federal IT matters. “I am working with my staff and the staff of the full House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to investigate the extent of the breaches, and I intend to conduct a full and thorough review of the vulnerabilities of FEC systems which should raise concerns for all federal elected officials.”

The ranking member of the Committee on House Administration, Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., says he, too, wants his committee to conduct an oversight hearing on FEC operations — something he described as “long overdue.”

“I want to know that they have the resources available to protect sensitive information,” Brady said. “More broadly, I want to know that they have the resources and personnel needed to do the job at hand.”

Republican Lee Goodman, the FEC’s newly elected chairman, has pledged to work in concert with Democratic Vice Chairwoman Ann Ravel to swiftly address the agency’s IT needs, including hiring security specialists and diverting funding to bolstering its systems. Ravel says she plans to work closely with Goodman.

It is a marked change in tone for the agency’s leaders. Former Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat, and Vice Chairman Don McGahn, a Republican, rarely spoke to one another. When they did last year, it often came in the form of protracted, and public arguments during commission meetings.

Brady praised the initial efforts of Goodman and Ravel. But he stressed that Congress, which has often paid the FEC scant attention, needs to focus more on the bipartisan agency, which has also experienced historically high levels of inaction in recent years — largely the product of ideological battles among commissioners.

“In recent years, FEC action has decreased significantly, mostly the result of partisan gridlock,” Brady said. “We cannot afford to continue down that path. The evolving landscape of campaign funding only makes things worse. Campaign funding is getting more complex and it is up to the FEC to guide candidates and keep them within the bounds of the law.”

A spokeswoman for Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., chairwoman of the Committee on House Administration, declined to comment on the FEC’s troubles or on whether the committee plans any investigation.

Leaders of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee — chairman Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and ranking member Pat Roberts, R-Kansas — did not respond to questions this week. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee’s jurisdiction includes FEC oversight.

The White House, too, has repeatedly refused to comment on the FEC’s problems. Obama spokesman Eric Schultz told the Center this month it will “get a response when we have one.”

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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

Martin Shellabarger
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J. Stevenson, what are you drinking? Trump has more lobbyists in his administration than probably any other president. Trump is totally “for sale”, and the corporations know it. Grow a brain!

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.