A six-month study by the watchdog Center for Public Integrity has reached sobering, even depressing, conclusions about an agency that should be one of the bulwarks of our democracy. Among the findings:
*The FEC has “reached a paralyzing all-time low in its ability to reach consensus.” The six-member commission operates with three Republicans and three Democrats. And often over the past several years, there have only been four or five commissions. Because four votes are required to take any action, and we live in highly-polarized times, there’s…wait for the shock…gridlock.
*Funding has remained flat for five years despite an unprecedented level of campaign spending, and staffing levels are at a 15-year low.
*Morale is so low that key employees are leaving and some of the top jobs – general counsel, associate general counsel for policy, associate general counsel for litigation, chief financial officer and accounting director – are unfilled or filled on an “acting” basis.