As the 2020 campaign season swings into high gear, the Federal Election Commission (FEC)—the nation’s campaign finance watchdog—has effectively gone out of business. Its vice chairman and commissioner, Matthew S. Petersen, resigned on August 31, leaving the commission without a quorum.
The FEC can no longer adopt or amend rules, issue advisory opinions, initiate or approve enforcement actions against violations, or conduct investigations. It is also powerless to bring actions against those who fail to file required campaign finance disclosure reports. Indeed, it can do little more than provide general information about campaign finance law.
The commission is often criticized for […]