LEAGUE AND PARTNERS SURPASS FEC PETITION GOAL

Await Response from President Obama on Enforcing Campaign Finance Laws

Washington, DC - Today, the League of Women Voters announced they had surpassed their goal of 25,000 petition signatures on the White House "We the People" website that asks President Obama to appoint new commissioners to the malfunctioning Federal Election Commission (FEC).  The League and partners Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Democracy21 and Public Citizen launched the petition drive on January 11 in order to get a response from the Administration on this critical issue that, to date, it has ignored.

"The Obama campaign’s decision this week to allow surrogates to assist Super PACs in raising funds illustrates how broken the system is and that the FEC is asleep at the switch," said Elisabeth MacNamara, national League President.  "The only reason that the leading presidential campaigns of both political parties are able to work with the Super PACs is that the FEC is not enforcing the law. Indeed the FEC says this is acceptable.  Our democracy needs a fully-functioning FEC," said MacNamara.

The FEC is supposed to be the agency that enforces campaign finance laws, but it is dysfunctional. Of the six commissioners at the agency, three of them staunchly refuse to enforce the law, and five of the six are serving despite expired terms.

“It is time for the President to step up to the challenge, just as he promised he would in his campaign four years ago,” said MacNamara.   In September 2007, candidate Obama said, “As president, I will appoint nominees to the Commission who are committed to enforcing our nation’s election laws.”  

“Right now, this ball is in the President’s court.  He needs to make nominations to the FEC,” MacNamara said.

"We eagerly await the response from President Obama to our petition.  We expect to hear his plans for the government agency charged with enforcing the law and stopping illegal coordination by candidate Super PACs," MacNamara concluded.

Contact:         Kelly Ceballos, kceballos@lwv.org