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The FEC and the Federal Campaign Finance Law
The FEC and the Federal Campaign Finance Law
Published: 2015/12/08
Channel: FECTube: FECConnect OnDemand
Citizens United v. FEC | Homework Help from the Bill of Rights Institute
Citizens United v. FEC | Homework Help from the Bill of Rights Institute
Published: 2017/02/14
Channel: Bill of Rights Institute
The Role of the Federal Election Commission - Melanie Sloan Answers Questions on C-SPAN
The Role of the Federal Election Commission - Melanie Sloan Answers Questions on C-SPAN
Published: 2012/02/07
Channel: CREW DC
Federal Election Commission Enforcement
Federal Election Commission Enforcement
Published: 2011/01/03
Channel: HouseResourceOrg
The Future of the Federal Election Commission
The Future of the Federal Election Commission
Published: 2013/04/30
Channel: CREW DC
FECFile Introduction
FECFile Introduction
Published: 2014/05/19
Channel: FECTube: FECConnect OnDemand
Citizens United (Hillary: the Movie) v. Federal Election Commission
Citizens United (Hillary: the Movie) v. Federal Election Commission
Published: 2009/05/01
Channel: The Cato Institute
44 States Say No to Trump: Resistance Grows as Trump
44 States Say No to Trump: Resistance Grows as Trump's Election Commission Seeks Private Voter Data
Published: 2017/07/05
Channel: Democracy Now!
Citizens United v. FEC
Citizens United v. FEC
Published: 2017/05/12
Channel: Mr. Beat
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission | quimbee.com
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission | quimbee.com
Published: 2017/10/04
Channel: Quimbee
Keith Olbermann on on "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission"
Keith Olbermann on on "Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission"
Published: 2010/01/22
Channel: mmflint
Campaign Finance Reform and the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision
Campaign Finance Reform and the Citizens United Supreme Court Decision
Published: 2013/04/12
Channel: Hip Hughes
American Elections at the Crossroads - Keynote - Ann Ravel, Chair, Federal Election Commission
American Elections at the Crossroads - Keynote - Ann Ravel, Chair, Federal Election Commission
Published: 2015/07/30
Channel: NYC Votes and NYC Campaign Finance Board
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Oral Arguments
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission Oral Arguments
Published: 2015/04/17
Channel: LR
BEWARE The Roberts 5; Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission FEC; IMPACT & REMEDY
BEWARE The Roberts 5; Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission FEC; IMPACT & REMEDY
Published: 2011/06/09
Channel: Albert Killackey
The Story of Citizens United v. FEC
The Story of Citizens United v. FEC
Published: 2011/02/25
Channel: storyofstuffproject
Citizens United vs. FEC: How Did It Happen?
Citizens United vs. FEC: How Did It Happen?
Published: 2012/01/21
Channel: Shoot First Inc.
FOX NEWS TARGETED BY FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION DEMOCRATS
FOX NEWS TARGETED BY FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION DEMOCRATS
Published: 2016/07/05
Channel: The Next News Network
McCutcheon vs FEC (2014) Explained: American Government Review
McCutcheon vs FEC (2014) Explained: American Government Review
Published: 2014/04/11
Channel: Hip Hughes
The Future of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) - A Panel Discussion
The Future of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) - A Panel Discussion
Published: 2013/05/06
Channel: CREW DC
Stephen Colbert files with the Federal Election Commission
Stephen Colbert files with the Federal Election Commission
Published: 2011/05/16
Channel: CREW DC
The Clinton campaign also in trouble with the Federal Election Commission 10/25/17
The Clinton campaign also in trouble with the Federal Election Commission 10/25/17
Published: 2017/10/26
Channel: Trump Fan Network
Federal Elections Commission and the 1st Amendment of Talk Show Hosts
Federal Elections Commission and the 1st Amendment of Talk Show Hosts
Published: 2016/10/07
Channel: The Common Sense Show
Citizens United v. FEC - Supreme Court Ruling
Citizens United v. FEC - Supreme Court Ruling
Published: 2010/04/27
Channel: ReelFactsProductions
Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission- With Credits
Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission- With Credits
Published: 2011/04/22
Channel: figsk8ergirl
What Is The Role Of The Federal Election Commission?
What Is The Role Of The Federal Election Commission?
Published: 2017/09/04
Channel: Question Out
A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission - Part 1 of 3
A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission - Part 1 of 3
Published: 2010/04/02
Channel: infoRipple
Stephen Colbert Testifies Before FEC - Super Pac is Formed (Part 1 of 2)
Stephen Colbert Testifies Before FEC - Super Pac is Formed (Part 1 of 2)
Published: 2011/06/30
Channel: RestoringTruthiness
Free Speech? Citizens United v FEC Revisited
Free Speech? Citizens United v FEC Revisited
Published: 2010/11/17
Channel: Brown University
What
What's Wrong with the Federal Election Commission? - Melanie Sloan
Published: 2012/01/30
Channel: CREW DC
Stephen Colbert at the Federal Election Commission
Stephen Colbert at the Federal Election Commission
Published: 2011/05/13
Channel: TP Clips
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Published: 2013/01/21
Channel: Sonny Jiang
Federal Election Commission
Federal Election Commission
Published: 2010/03/24
Channel: LennyEighteenwheels
Citizens United v. FEC: A Transformative Decision
Citizens United v. FEC: A Transformative Decision
Published: 2015/01/21
Channel: Ryan Seffinger
McCutcheon v. FEC - Inside the Case
McCutcheon v. FEC - Inside the Case
Published: 2013/10/04
Channel: ISCOTUS
5/8/14 - SEC & FINMA skeptical, Federal Election Commission, & Piggyweek
5/8/14 - SEC & FINMA skeptical, Federal Election Commission, & Piggyweek
Published: 2014/05/09
Channel: Money & Tech
McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission: Oral Argument - October 08, 2013
McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission: Oral Argument - October 08, 2013
Published: 2016/03/25
Channel: PuppyJusticeAutomated
Citizens United v Federal Election Commission
Citizens United v Federal Election Commission
Published: 2013/01/23
Channel: 1363zsofi
Campaign Finance: Lawyers
Campaign Finance: Lawyers' Citizens United v. FEC U.S. Supreme Court Arguments (2009)
Published: 2013/01/02
Channel: The Film Archives
McCutcheon v. FEC Explained
McCutcheon v. FEC Explained
Published: 2014/04/03
Channel: Represent.Us
Apparently Corporations Are People BUT FEC Commissioners Aren
Apparently Corporations Are People BUT FEC Commissioners Aren't
Published: 2015/06/24
Channel: The Young Turks
What Is The Role Of The Federal Election Commission?
What Is The Role Of The Federal Election Commission?
Published: 2017/07/26
Channel: new sparky
Ann Ravel says the Federal Election Commission is dysfunctional
Ann Ravel says the Federal Election Commission is dysfunctional
Published: 2016/05/18
Channel: The Sacramento Bee
Citizens United v  Federal Election Commission A Case for Limiting Campaign Finance Regulations
Citizens United v Federal Election Commission A Case for Limiting Campaign Finance Regulations
Published: 2016/09/19
Channel: Andrew Sadler
Kyari, Oyo Ita Embrace At FEC Meeting
Kyari, Oyo Ita Embrace At FEC Meeting
Published: 2017/11/08
Channel: Channels Television
A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission - Part 2 of 3
A First Amendment Analysis of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission - Part 2 of 3
Published: 2010/04/02
Channel: infoRipple
Debate on Campaign Finance — McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission 04/29/14
Debate on Campaign Finance — McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission 04/29/14
Published: 2014/05/04
Channel: Nydia Tisdale
FEC to Billionaires: Do What You Want in 2016...
FEC to Billionaires: Do What You Want in 2016...
Published: 2015/05/05
Channel: Thom Hartmann Program
Federal Campaign Finance, and the FEC
Federal Campaign Finance, and the FEC
Published: 2012/09/29
Channel: YourGovNonPart
Campaign Finance after Citizens United (FEC Commissioner Don McGahn)
Campaign Finance after Citizens United (FEC Commissioner Don McGahn)
Published: 2013/01/24
Channel: The Cato Institute
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Federal Election Commission
FEC
Seal of the United States Federal Election Commission.svg
Agency overview
Formed October 15, 1974; 43 years ago (1974-10-15)
Headquarters Washington, D.C., U.S.
Employees 339 (2006)
Agency executives
Website FEC.gov

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency whose purpose is to enforce campaign finance law in federal elections.[1] Created in 1974 through amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act,[2] the commission describes its duties as "to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections."

Membership[edit]

The Commission is made up of six members, who are appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate. Each member serves a six-year term, and two seats are subject to appointment every two years.[1] By law, no more than three Commissioners can be members of the same political party, and at least four votes are required for any official Commission action.

The chairmanship of the Commission rotates among the members each year, with no member serving as chairman more than once during a six-year term. However, a member may serve as chairman more than once by serving beyond the six-year mark if no successor is appointed; for example, Ellen Weintraub was chairman in both 2003 and 2013.[3]

Official duties[edit]

Federal Election Commission building, in Washington, D.C.

The Commission's role is limited to the administration of federal campaign finance laws. It enforces limitations and prohibitions on contributions and expenditures, administers the reporting system for campaign finance disclosure, investigates and prosecutes violations (investigations are typically initiated by complaints from other candidates, parties, watchdog groups, and the public), audits a limited number of campaigns and organizations for compliance, administers the presidential public funding programs for presidential candidates and, until recently, nominating conventions, and defends the statute in challenges to federal election laws and regulations.

The FEC also publishes reports filed by Senate, House of Representatives and Presidential campaigns that list how much each campaign has raised and spent, and a list of all donors over $200, along with each donor's home address, employer and job title. This database also goes back to 1980. Private organizations are legally prohibited from using these data to solicit new individual donors (and the FEC authorizes campaigns to include a limited number of "dummy" names as a measure to prevent this), but may use this information to solicit Political Action Committees. The FEC also maintains an active program of public education, directed primarily to explaining the law to the candidates, their campaigns, political parties and other political committees that it regulates.

Criticism[edit]

Campaign finance[edit]

Critics of the FEC, including campaign finance reform supporters such as Common Cause and Democracy 21, have complained that it is a classic example of regulatory capture where it serves the interests of the ones it was intended to regulate. The FEC's bipartisan structure, which was established by Congress, renders the agency "toothless." Critics also claim that most FEC penalties for violating election law come well after the actual election in which they were committed. Additionally, some critics claim that the commissioners tend to act as an arm of the "regulated community" of parties, interest groups, and politicians when issuing rulings and writing regulations. Others point out, however, that the commissioners rarely divide evenly along partisan lines, and that the response time problem may be endemic to the enforcement procedures established by Congress. To complete steps necessary to resolve a complaint – including time for defendants to respond to the complaint, time to investigate and engage in legal analysis, and finally, where warranted, prosecution – necessarily takes far longer than the comparatively brief period of a political campaign.

First Amendment issues[edit]

Critics including former FEC chairman Bradley Smith (law professor) and Stephen M. Hoersting, executive director of the Center for Competitive Politics, criticize the FEC for pursuing overly aggressive enforcement theories that amount to an infringement on the First Amendment right to free speech.[4]

Division over the issue became especially prominent during the last several years of the Obama administration. Commissioners deadlocked on several votes over whether to regulate Twitter, Facebook, and other online mediums for political speech, as well as a vote to punish Fox News for the selection criteria it used in a presidential debate.[5][6] Democrats argued for more regulation on the basis that it would protect consumers and encourage more inclusive political speech. Republicans opposed regulation, with former chairman Lee Goodman accusing Democrats of trying to alter the First Amendment by "administrative fiat."[7]

Commission size[edit]

Critics of the Commission also argue that this structure regularly causes deadlocks on 3-3 votes,[8] but others argue that deadlocks are actually quite rare,[9] and typically based on principle rather than partisanship.[10] Since 2008, 3-3 votes have become more common at the FEC. From 2008 to August 2014, the FEC has had over 200 tie votes, accounting for approximately 14 percent of all votes in enforcement matters.[11]

Commissioners[edit]

Current[edit]

Name Position Party Appointed by Sworn in Term expires
Walther, Steven T.Steven T. Walther Chairman Independent George W. Bush June 27, 2008 April 30, 2009

Term expired—serving until replaced

Hunter, Caroline C.Caroline C. Hunter Vice Chairman Republican June 24, 2008 April 30, 2013

Term expired—serving until replaced

Petersen, Matthew S.Matthew S. Petersen Commissioner Republican June 24, 2008 April 30, 2011

Term expired—serving until replaced

Weintraub, Ellen L.Ellen L. Weintraub Commissioner Democratic June 6, 2002 April 30, 2007

Term expired—serving until replaced

Goodman, Lee E.Lee E. Goodman Commissioner Republican Obama, BarackBarack Obama October 22, 2013 April 30, 2015

Term expired—serving until replaced

Former[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved 3 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "52 U.S. Code § 30106 - Federal Election Commission". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2017-06-03. 
  3. ^ "FEC biography of Ellen L. Weintraub". Federal Election Commission. Retrieved October 3, 2016. 
  4. ^ Bradley A. Smith; Stephen M. Hoersting (2002). "A Toothless Anaconda: Innovation, Impotence, and Overenforcement at the Federal Election Commission". Election Law Journal. 1 (2): 145–171. doi:10.1089/153312902753610002. 
  5. ^ Berger, Judson (June 30, 2016). "FEC Democrats tried to punish Fox News over debate changes, files show". Fox News. 
  6. ^ Takala, Rudy (September 27, 2016). "Regulators spar over whether unregulated Internet harms minorities". Washington Examiner. 
  7. ^ Takala, Rudy (June 30, 2016). "FEC Commissioner: Regulators attacking First Amendment by 'administrative fiat'". Washington Examiner. 
  8. ^ CREW Sues the Federal Election Commission over Case Dismissals, OMB Watch, August 17, 2010 Archived February 21, 2012, at the Library of Congress
  9. ^ Opening Statement of Bradley A. Smith, Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, Before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, June 4, 2004
  10. ^ Politics (and FEC enforcement) make strange bedfellows: The Soros book matter, Bob Bauer, More Soft Money Hard Law, January 29, 2009 Archived September 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ Confessore, Nicholas (August 25, 2014). "Election Panel Enacts Policies by Not Acting". New York Times. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 
  12. ^ FEC Elects Officers for 2008, FEC press release, July 10, 2008.
  13. ^ New FEC Commissioners Assume Office, FEC press release, July 8, 2008.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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