All five sitting commissioners at the Federal Election Commission are now serving expired terms, while the sixth seat remains unfilled since a commissioner retired on Feb. 1, 2013. FEC Commissioner Caroline Hunter’s term expired on Tuesday. Until their replacements are confirmed by the Senate, FEC commissioners are permitted to stay on. Former Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly resigned her post in February long after her own term had expired. President Barack Obama has not successfully appointed a single new commissioner to the FEC. In 2010, his lone appointee withdrew during a contentious confirmation process. Obama’s failure to name commissioners has been a sore point for campaign finance reformers, who sent a blistering letter to the White House on Monday excoriating the president for not pushing hard enough to reform the nation’s system of campaign funding.
“We recognize that the critical test for an officeholder is not how an official functions within the boundaries of the flawed campaign finance system that exists, but what the officeholder is prepared to do to fix the system,” states the letter signed by seven campaign finance reform groups. “You have not met this critical test. In addition to walking away from your commitment to repair the presidential public financing system, you have not submitted any nominees for the FEC to the Senate for more than three years.”
By design, the FEC is divided between three Democratic commissioners and three Republican commissioners. In recent years, those six individuals notably struggled to reach bipartisan compromise. The panel routinely found itself in 3-3 split decisions on important issues, including the implementation of disclosure rules, as recommended by the Supreme Court, to cover the new spending released by the court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling. (With Bauerly’s resignation, the panel now has three Republicans and two Democrats.)
Full Article: FEC Commissioners All Serving Expired Terms Now.