Partisanship at the Federal Election Commission has hamstrung the agency, as deadlocked investigations have skyrocketed since 2008, according to a new report. Before 2008, the FEC only deadlocked on 1 percent of its votes to trigger punishments for allegations of election law violations, according to the report released Wednesday by the Public Citizen Foundation. Since then, the agency has hit a stalemate on 15 percent. The FEC is made up of three Democratic and three Republican commissioners, and action can only be triggered with a majority vote, which means at least one commissioner must cross party lines before the agency can authorize punishment.
“The nation is entering what will be the most expensive election in history with no cop on the beat,” Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division, said in a statement. “The 2016 election is going to be a lawless Wild West.”
The number of cases that even reach a vote has also plummeted from an average of 727 per year between 2003 and2007 to 178 per year from 2008 through the available data from 2014. The agency is also pursuing fewer proposed audits, and reaching significantly more deadlocks on proposed rules and advisory opinions on average over the past few years. But most recent data from 2014 also show a decline in split votes on advisory opinions, and the number of audit votes is at a six-year high.
Full Article: Partisanship stalemates FEC, says report | TheHill.