USA Today: Former Ohio lawmaker's case shows flaws in campaign finance law enforcement


“The FEC is basically a dysfunctional agency,” said  Larry Noble , who served as the agency’s general counsel for 13 years and now works for the  Campaign Legal Center , which advocates for campaign finance reform. “It very often splits three-three on issues. It takes a very long time to do anything. Most of that time, it’s the commission not wanting to consider a matter and not being willing to make decisions.”

Noble said the $2,500 fine in the Schmidt case was startlingly small, especially given the facts and the amount of improper campaign contributions. The legal battle centered on Schmidt’s acceptance of at least $500,000 worth of free legal services from the  Turkish Coalition of America , via an affiliated defense fund.

“It is a very little amount of money for that kind of a violation,” said Noble.

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