CLC-Led Coalition Urges Restoration of FEC Quorum

The Federal Election Commission
The hearing room at the Federal Election Commission. Photo by Casey Atkins/Campaign Legal Center.

The failure of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is one of the best-kept secrets in Washington, and one of the most shameful.

To ensure that the 2020 elections are transparent and fair, the President and Senate must prioritize restoring the FEC’s quorum. This is more important than ever as the country enters what promises to be the most expensive election in history.

But it’s imperative that the FEC not be restocked with yet another crop of commissioners who oppose campaign finance reform in the mold of Don McGahn.

That’s why a coalition of good-government groups sent a letter calling on the President and U.S. Senate to restore the FEC voting quorum – but countering a call from private attorneys to confirm a “full slate” of six new FEC commissioners who would continue the FEC’s longstanding dysfunction.

The letter from Campaign Legal Center (CLC), Public Citizen, Common Cause, Democracy 21, CREW, and 16 other organizations and individuals describes how the FEC’s problems preceded its recent absence of a quorum, resulting in an explosion of secret spending that has increasingly rigged our political system in favor of wealthy special interests.

The letter urges the President and U.S. Senate “not to respond to the FEC’s lack of a quorum by nominating or confirming any FEC commissioner who would use that position to prevent enforcement of the law,” and notes that confirming commissioners opposed to election transparency “would hinder enforcement, not enable it.”

To stop the explosion of secret election spending by wealthy special interests, the FEC must have a quorum to protect the integrity of our elections.

Voters have an overwhelmingly negative view of the campaign finance system, as they believe it is corrupt, filled with loopholes and rigged in favor of the wealthy, corporations and special interests.

Recent polling released by CLC indicates 71% of voters want the FEC to take a more active role in enforcing campaign finance laws.