A Fading FEC and Obama’s Ground Game | The Trail | washingtonpost.com
The federal agency in charge of policing the torrent of political spending during the upcoming presidential primaries will, for all practical purposes, shut its doors on New Year’s Eve.
The Federal Election Commission will effectively go dark on Jan. 1 because Congress remains locked in a standoff over the confirmation of President Bush’s nominees to the panel. As a consequence, the FEC will enter 2008 with just two of six members — short of the four votes needed for the commission to take any official action.
“There is, in effect, nobody to answer the phone,” said Robert F. Bauer, a leading Democratic campaign finance lawyer….
Seven presidential candidates have applied to receive public matching funds for their campaigns, but they may not be able to access the money until the FEC certifies their requests. That takes four votes.