The five commissioners of the Federal Election Commission are finding it almost impossible to reach agreement on almost anything these days. New commissioners may soon help. The Senate Rules Committee may have an early September vote on two new presidential nominees. The most recent example of inaction was a compliance case (MUR 6540) that reached an impasse in July with three Republicans voted to go against the recommendation of the Office of the General Counsel to find reason to believe the respondents violated (1) the prohibitions on corporate contributions in staging a rally supporting Senator Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential campaign, and (2) made other prohibited contributions in the form of coordinated expenditures. Republican Commissioners McGahn, Hunter and Petersen voted against the recommendation. Democratic Commissioners Weintraub and Walther voted for it. With the impasse the Commission voted in July to close the case without taking any action.
On Friday, Democratic Commissioners Ellen Weintraub and Stephen Walther released their statement of reasons on their votes in the compliance case. Republican Commissioners Donald McGahn and Caroline Hunter released their statement of reasons in July.
… The name-calling was again public on Saturday, when the New York Times ran a letter to the editor from Republican Commissioner Donald McGahn. In discussing the FEC enforcement manual, McGahn stated, “It is the Democratic chairwoman, Ellen L. Weintraub, who is obstructing such a discussion.”