FEC: Watchdogs Urge FEC to Halt Proposal to Worsen Its Already Ineffective Enforcement of Campaign Finance Laws


Today, the Campaign Legal Center, joined by Democracy 21, filed comments with the Federal Election Commission urging the agency not to further weaken its already ineffective enforcement of campaign finance laws. In response to a commission notice requesting comment as to whether the FEC is effectively enforcing the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA), the watchdogs’ response is an emphatic “no.” But the agency goes further and asks for comments as to whether it should further undermine its anemic enforcement process by adopting an officially policy of willfully ignoring publicly available information and legal theories not specifically cited in complaints filed with the agency. The watchdogs warn the FEC that the proposed policy of willful ignorance would only worsen an already ineffective enforcement process.

“The FEC has long been known as a paper tiger among enforcement agencies but it is breathtaking that it would even consider a proposal to defang itself further by doing even less than it is now to enforce the nation’s campaign finance laws,” said Paul S. Ryan, Campaign Legal Center Senior Counsel. “We certainly hope the Commission will refrain from adopting this nonsensical proposal to intentionally ignore readily accessible public information and valid legal theories during the enforcement process. It is vitally important that hardworking FEC staff investigators not have their hands tied behind their backs by the political appointees, when it comes to using the few tools at their disposal as they attempt to fulfill the mission of the agency.”

To read the comments filed by the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, click here.

To read the letter referenced in the comments, click here.