Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is seeking information regarding why Jack Abramoff was prevented from talking to the media about his role in what the organization’s executive director, Melanie Sloan calls “one of the largest congressional corruption scandals in history.” The full complaint filed in a suit against the Department of Justice can be found here.
Following up with a story posted earlier this week, “Campaign Finance Reformers see a tough road ahead,” the FEC has again come under fire for its lax regulation heading into the mid-term elections. Huffington Post reported, “according to campaign finance experts, it’s unlikely” that the FEC will punish campaign finance law violators any time soon. The article goes on to refer to the FEC as ” a toothless tiger made up of six members that usually deadlocks on the important decisions.”
This snowballs into another issue: President Obama’s demonstrated lack of commitment to advance his campaign reform platform. So far, despite having the opportunity (and perhaps responsibility, since the terms have ended) to replace three commissioners whose aversions to the regulatory laws reportedly prevent them from voting in favor of committee action against potential violators, the FEC’s make-up remains unchanged.
Donald McGhan, who remains a commissioner pending appointment of a successor, once said “[The FEC is] ‘not like other agencies because you have the charge of the fox guarding the hen-house. You gonna appoint your guys to make sure you are taken care of. The original intent was for it to be a glorified Congressional committee. That’s the way I see it,'” according to a column written by Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The president is reportedly waiting on members of the Senate to recommend new FEC commissioners for him to appoint before replacing any members.
The Veterans’ Alliance for Security and Democracy (VetPAC) is one of several organizations griping about the Chamber of Commerce election spendings. The group filed suit against the Chamber Oct. 18, alleging its receipt of foreign funds may in some way damage the purity of its campaign contributions. VetPAC is surely banking on FEC regulation (no pun intended).