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Scott Jagow: Imagine an election year where the agency in charge of campaign finance laws can’t do anything. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening thus year. Marketplace’s Steve Henn explains.
Steve Henn: With just two sitting commissioners, the FEC can’t reach a quorum, start an investigation, issue a ruling, or write a single regulation.
Fred Wertheimer is the founder of Democracy 21, a campaign finance reform group.
Fred Wertheimer: If this had happened in a third-world country, we would have called it a banana republic.
Normally six commissioners sit on the FEC. Now, there’s a deal and the Senate’s likely to approve new commissioners any day.
Wertheimer: Five of the six commissioners are going to be new people who have never served on the commission. They’re going to have a very tough job ahead.
Commissioners will need to decide if John McCain violated campaign laws by first applying for, and then rejecting, federal matching funds. They’ll have to issue some new rules for lobbyists raising campaign cash. Then, they can take up more than 200 enforcement actions sitting on ice.
In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
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