Pete Martin and Zachary Roth have an excellent piece on how Republican nominees have made the Federal Election Committee disappear. It’s a great example of the kind of story that is too politically loaded for the mainstream media:
FEC watchers say the commission’s three Republicans — Donald McGahn, Matthew Petersen, and Caroline Hunter, each nominated by President Bush — are acting out of philosophical opposition to the very idea of regulating campaign money. “It’s the Republican caucus that actually believes there shouldn’t be campaign-finance regulation,” said Holman. “It is ideological. They are ideologically opposed to the purpose of the Federal Election Commission.”
Whether Obama will do anything about it remains to be seen:
Most experts believe that the White House supports stronger campaign-finance laws as a goal, but, with a host of other issues on its plate, is reluctant to pick a fight with the GOP Senate leader. “They’re picking their priorities, and they don’t want to take on Mitch McConnell right now,” said Hasen. “I consider that unfortunate.”
Holman agreed. McGahn’s term, abridged by the Spakovsky holdup, has now expired as well, and Holman suggested that Obama could play a more active role in nominating McGahn’s replacement — as the president would be within his rights to do — rather than leaving it to McConnell. “The president has to decide,” said Holman. “He’s either going to go with Mitch McConnell’s appointee and render the FEC functionless, or he’s going to break tradition and bring the FEC back to life.”
The cynic in me fears that the Obama administration feels that weak campaign finance law enforcement are to its advantage and that they will do nothing about this.