FEC Commissioner's Resignation Leaves Sole Agency Dedicated to Integrity of Elections Without Watchdog Authority

Matthew Petersen and Caroline Hunter sitting behind a desk
Commissioners Matthew Petersen (left) and Caroline Hunter (right) during an open meeting at the Federal Election Commission on March, 28 2019. Photo by Casey Atkins/Campaign Legal Center.

Today, Republican Federal Election Commission (FEC) commissioner Caroline Hunter submitted a letter of resignation. She’s expected to leave the agency as of July 3, 2020 with only three sitting commissioners. The law requires a quorum of at least four commissioners before the agency can conduct any official enforcement or regulatory action. The FEC is the only government agency dedicated to overseeing the integrity of our election campaigns. The FEC enforces and administers federal campaign finance laws including the disclosure of funds raised and spent to influence federal elections, the restrictions on money donated and spent to influence federal elections, and the public financing of presidential campaigns. Hunter’s resignation with only three days notice comes just after Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell broke precedent and forced through the nomination of Republican Chair Trey Trainor without a new democratic commissioner, while claiming it was vital for the FEC to have a quorum this election year. 

Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center and a former Republican Chair of the FEC released the following statement: 

“A huge majority of voters are concerned about the enforcement of our campaign finance laws, and Hunter's resignation leaves their democratic elections with significantly less government oversight.  Elections in 2016 and 2018 saw campaign finance violations including: illegal foreign spending, a lack of transparency around the sources of millions in election spending, and candidates working illegally with super PACs. Americans understand that the campaign finance system correlates directly to their families’ quality of life. The corruption of our democracy by unprecedented amounts of money in our elections from wealthy special interests diminishes the voices of average citizens. A strong and functional FEC is vital to protecting our democracy, fighting corruption, and holding politicians accountable for the campaign money they receive.” 


Erin handles media relations for the CLC team and creates online content.