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Back in March the League joined with coalition partners on a petition asking the Obama Administration to appoint new commissioners to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The petition gathered over 27,000 signatures, over 2,000 signatures above the required threshold needed for a response from The White House.
The President has expressed a need to strengthen the FEC and appoint “strong, impartial leadership that will promote integrity in our election system” since running for President in 2008. Aside from one unsuccessful attempt in 2009 to appoint new commissioners, the President has failed to replace any of the five lame duck commissioners. The petition asked the Obama administration to appoint new commissioners before the 2012 elections to replace those serving expired terms or those blatantly refusing to enforce campaign finance laws.
On Friday, over four months after reaching the signature threshold, The White House finally responded to this petition. The League is gravely disappointed in the Administration’s response to this serious issue. Citing work that needs to be done in Congress on the DISCLOSE Act and strong opposition to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, is not a substitute for the actions that the Obama Administration can take to enforce current campaign finance law. In fact, without an effective agency to enforce the laws, new legislation will be a hollow promise. If we are to stop the flood of money into American elections, we need a functioning FEC that will enforce the laws that are in place.