President Bush’s latest maneuvering with the Federal Election Commission does nothing to fix the standoff over unacceptable nominees, New York Times editors argue. Instead, the White House has made it worse, moving to can the chairman who questioned John McCain’s “funding machinations”—and sub in a Tom DeLay ethics lawyer. With four vacancies on the six-member body—in an election year, no less—a quick fix is needed.
Chairman David Mason informed McCain a switch to private campaign funding might be illegal; Bush’s new decision to cut Mason from the commission is “presumably” a response to the missive. But the FEC shouldn’t have commissioners like the “particularly partisan” DeLay ally; rather, it needs ones with the “professionalism” of Mason—and immediately.