Federal Politics

Published — May 1, 2009 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

President Obama’s opportunity to mold the FEC

Introduction

At midnight Thursday, the terms of Federal Election Commissioner Donald F. McGahn II (a Republican) and FEC Chairman Steven T. Walther (a Democrat) expired. Combined with Democrat Ellen L. Weintraub’s seat — she remains on the commission even though her term expired two years ago — President Obama has the opportunity to make his first three appointments to the six-member commission. Though FEC terms are set for six years, members are free to stay on until replacements are selected by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

While the law requires only that the commission include no more than three members of any political party, presidents have almost always allowed the other party’s congressional leadership to choose three of the six. Now, reform groups are hoping Obama breaks with nearly 35 years of tradition. A coalition including the Campaign Legal Center, Democracy 21, the Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, Public Citizen, and U.S. PIRG has proposed that President Obama create an independent commission to propose potential nominees and that he select only those with a “demonstrated commitment to effective, non-partisan administration and enforcement of the campaign finance laws.”

Josh Zaharoff, deputy program director for Common Cause, argues that, short of complete overhaul, such a proposal would be the best way to ensure real enforcement of election laws. The long-standing existing practice “ensures that the commissioners are likely to be loyal to their political party rather than to election laws and the American people as a whole.”

After seven months without a quorum, the restocked FEC has drawn significant criticism from campaign-finance-reform advocates for its lack of serious, independent enforcement. There have been a series of 3-3 deadlocks on key issues, resulting in a significant increase in the percentage of dismissed cases.

The White House press office did not respond to any inquiry as to how President Obama planned to approach the appointment process.

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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.

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.