Just when it appeared that a compromise consensus had been reached on reconstituting the dormant FEC, the agreement appeared to break down over the replacement for recently withdrawn nominee Hans von Spakovsky.
At yesterday’s Rules Committee hearing the ranking Republican member expressed implicit displeasure with the squawking of certain advocacy groups over von Spakovsky’s nominee, while the Democratic chairman of the committee ignored the latest round of protestations from these same organizations over the nomination of Don McGahn.
Within 45 minutes of the hearing’s commencement, all three new nominees had breezed through a Senate committee seemingly uninterested in challenging any of the nominees.
Nonetheless, odds for a reconstituted FEC took a hit yesterday over the sixth nominee, a Republican to replace von Spakovsky.
Roll Call reported that Majority Leader Reid wants sitting commissioner David Mason to remain, an option that the White House quickly dismissed. Meanwhile, the committee waits for a new nominee from the White House.
Time will only tell when the FEC finds itself with a quorum. But some important lessons have been made clear in the interim: The world has not ended with a non-functioning speech patrol, and partisan bickering over the policeman is an almost inevitable result of a highly regulated system.