The Hill: Former FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel’s ugly exit (In the News)

The Hill: Former FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel’s ugly exit

By Paul H. Jossey

In Washington, Ravel tried to remake the FEC into FCCP-East. A bureaucrat-dominated colossal that overreached, bullied, and pursued “social goals” in the name of democratic integrity. But Washington isn’t California…

Since 2007, the Supreme Court has deregulated much campaign finance on constitutional grounds. What remains are often hard cases where fundamental philosophical differences arise.

Those who file complaints to trigger FEC investigations have the right to appeal to lifetime-appointed judges in the event of 3-3 ties. If the commission dismisses a complaint, even by a tie, the judiciary can order the FEC to act on the case or provide an explanation acceptable to the court.

Strong democratic oversight also protects the system. If the political branches shared Ravel’s concerns, they could restructure the agency. Some in Congress do want the FPPC model. But their inability to garner requisite support is a matter of politics not agency dereliction. Put simply, people above Ravel’s rank don’t share her sky-is-falling view.