Harper scolds FEC Commissioners

CONGRESSIONAL PANEL LAMBASTES FEC COMMISSIONERS: The FEC is itself failing at transparency, members of the Committee on House Administration told the six commissioners today in a rare oversight hearing — then ordered them to make public long-undisclosed enforcement manual and penalty procedures or face a congressional subpoena.

“Your unwillingness to release these documents contradicts and ultimately hinders your agency’s core mission. … It’s unacceptable and it needs to change,” Subcommittee on Elections Chairman Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) scolded. “How can we trust an agency to enforce disclosure when it lacks disclosure?” Said Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.): “We let murderers know what they’re facing … shouldn’t we let prospective members of Congress know what they’re facing?” Commissioners generally agreed that they can do better to become more transparent, but struggled to explain why some of their procedures today lack the kind of transparency committee members demanded.

Harper, along with other members of the committee, also panned the FEC commissioners for a variety of other perceived problems, from regularly deadlocking 3-3 on key votes before the commission to failing to adequately create rules and regulations that complement the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizen United v. Federal Election Commission, which gave corporations, unions and special interests greater ability to directly engage in political elections. Read Dave’s full story from the hearing here: http://politi.co/tQRBQT

POLITICO
11/3/11