Latest comments from CCP: FEC Should Adopt Proposal for Hearings

Back in late November, the FEC released a proposed policy statement (.pdf) that would grant basic due process rights to respondents before the Commission.  At the time, CCP Chairman Brad Smith blogged about this modest proposal as well as the hysterical overreaction from the "reform" community that ensued. CCP has now submitted comments urging the Commission to adopt this proposal. 

Few respondents have the resources to go to court, where they would be afforded the full panoply of due process protections, and over 99% of all cases before the FEC are adjudicated without going to court.  For the vast majority of those unfortunate enough to be called before the FEC, the Commission offers their first and only opportunity to receive due process.  Providing modest additional protection will improve the enforcement process, both by aiding the Commissioners in their decision-making and by enhancing the perception among respondents that they have been treated fairly.

We’ll continue to follow this issue and let our readers know what the Commission decides.

Filed Under: Blog

Comments of CCP Vice President Steve Hoersting on Pilot Program for Probable Cause Hearings

Written comments  of CCP Vice President Steve Hoersting on a January 4, 2007 message to the Federal Election Commission on the topic of a pilot program for probably cause hearings.

Filed Under: Blog, External Relations Comments and Testimony, External Relations Sub-Pages, Federal, Federal Comments and Testimony, Uncategorized, Comments and Testimony

You Can’t Have Your Cake & Eat it Too

Our reporting on the FEC’s finding of a violation against stock car racer Kirk Shelmerdine for placing a "Bush-Cheney ’04" sticker on unrented space on his race car has created quite a stir.  Even many traditional supporters of "reform," most notably the Washington Post, have now criticized the FEC’s pursuit of Shelmerdine.  But these Johnny-come-lately critics of the FEC’s zealous enforcement of the law seem to want to have it both ways – they want to endorse "reform" while while washing their hands of cases that demonstrate the problems with regulation of political speech, such as the Shelmerdine case.  In fact, the Shelmerdine case is not an aberration; it is not a case of "bureaucrats gone wild."  It is "reform," in all its glory. 

Click the headline for more.

Update (1/3): Check out this column by Ryan Sager of the New York Post.  Money quote: "It seems that, so long as trouble-makers are ready to write up the complaints, the FEC is happy to take any nutball theory for a few spins around the track – no matter how ludicrous the repercussions for free speech in our democracy."

Filed Under: Blog, Disclosure, Disclosure Press Release/In the News/Blog