A Bi-Partisan Initiative at the FEC

January 23, 2015
posted by Bob Bauer

Some weeks ago, a number of individuals with different professional backgrounds and perspectives on campaign finance came together to urge the Federal Election Commission to take certain initiatives to improve the enforcement of the law.  (I was one of them.)  In a period of difficult, highly contested constitutional and legal questions, the FEC is in a difficult position, often charged with the perceived “sins” of others and itself divided  over regulatory direction.

But in this turbulent period, a key step for the agency is to define the available paths toward clear law, accessible and regularly updated guidance to those subject to the Act, and strengthened compliance and bipartisan enforcement. The signatories to the letter urged that the Commission consider revisions to “advance core regulatory purposes and policies in the public interest, such as the more effective implementation of well-established disclosure requirements.”

Today, in a further step, the same group has filed a Petition for Rulemaking, calling on the Commission to implement the statutory mandate to expand the Administrative Fines Program, address ambiguities, omissions and uncertainties in its guidance and reporting forms, and generally improve the enforcement of the disclosure provisions.  Once again, the signatories are unified in their view that this is a critically important function for the FEC to play, and that respect for the law and the prospects for successful compliance depend on sound administration of core statutory requirements.

The Petition can be found here:


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