Editorial: The Federal Election Commission Needs Commissioners
The FEC requires four members for a quorum, so it’s now unable to determine whether laws have been violated or to impose fines for transgressions. It was already in retreat. From 1999 to 2008, the FEC levied $33.6 million (inflation-adjusted) in fines for campaign finance violations. From 2009 to 2018, as partisan gridlock on the commission grew more intense, the fines declined to less than $12 million, according to the Campaign Legal Center, a pro-regulation advocacy group. The decline occurred despite both soaring campaign spending and the advent of ever dodgier ways of deploying money.
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