Federal Election Commission

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'Dysfunctional' FEC Missing a Head Lawyer for 2 Years

Agency is heading right into Election 2016 with no chief counsel

(Newser) - When your chairwoman goes on the record as saying your agency is "worse than dysfunctional," chances are you may have a hard time attracting talent. That's the issue now faced by the Federal Election Commission in terms of its legal counsel: Next month will hit the two-year... More »

Clean Election '16? FEC Chair Throws Up Her Hands

'People think the FEC is dysfunctional. It’s worse than dysfunctional'

(Newser) - Sure, people moan about political kingmaking , the soaring cost of campaigns , and the money bombs both sides are dropping , but when the person doing the moaning is the chairwoman of the federal body set up to regulate money in politics, one tends to take notice. "The likelihood of the... More »

Politicians Now Accepting Bitcoins

FEC approves their use for first time

(Newser) - Bitcoins just got into politics: The FEC said yesterday that people can use them to make political contributions. As far as the fine print goes, any PAC that accepts them must convert them into dollars before using the money, the Washington Post reports. Also, no anonymous donations will be allowed,... More »

What the New Campaign Finance Ruling Means

Republicans cheer, liberals sulk in wake of McCutcheon v. FEC

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today struck down longstanding rules capping the total money individuals can donate to politicians, parties, and certain PACs. What does it mean and who does it benefit? Here's a taste of the reaction pouring in from pundits, advocates, and leaders:
  • The court "pressed ahead with
... More »

In Hillary's Corner: 2 Super PACs

George Washington University prof leads new group

(Newser) - Sure, she may not even run, but Hillary Clinton has already got a 2016 support network in place: Two super PACs are poised to fund a potential presidential run. The group "Ready for Hillary" filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday, Politico reports, not long after "HillaryClintonSuperPAC"... More »

States Skip FEC, Demand IDs of Nonprofit Donors

FEC gridlock prompts action

(Newser) - The Federal Election Commission is stuck in partisan gridlock—so states are taking nonprofit donor disclosure into their own hands. California this month called on an Arizona group to uncover the source of $11 million used for ballot measure fights; recent court cases in Idaho and Minnesota have forced political... More »

Colbert Quits Super PAC Game

But learns how to keep the money

(Newser) - Stephen Colbert spent a lot of time hawking his super PAC, but in the end, he admits it was all for naught. And after taking all that money from "anonymous, scary donors," Colbert feared repercussions, he said on last night's Colbert Report. After trying to blame his... More »

Obama Lawyer Demands Crossroads Reveals Donors

Campaign complains to FEC about Rove-linked group

(Newser) - Crossroads GPS, a "social welfare" organization that has spent millions on ads attacking Democrats, is clearly a political committee and should therefore be required to disclose its donors, charges the Obama campaign. The campaign's chief counsel has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Committee, saying that the... More »

Rangel Fined $23K for Misusing Rent-Stabilized Pad

FEC finding another blow to NY rep.

(Newser) - Rep. Charles Rangel and his campaign have agreed to cough up a $23,000 fine for using a rent-stabilized New York City apartment as a campaign headquarters. The Federal Election Committee decided by leasing the Harlem apartment at a price well below the market rate, the Democrat had accepted an... More »

FEC to John Edwards: You Owe $2.1M

Former candidate has to pay Treasury for matching funds

(Newser) - John Edwards owes the US Treasury a couple million dollars, and he has just 30 days to pay it. The Federal Election Commission announced yesterday that Edwards received $2.1 million too much in matching funds from the Treasury during his 2008 Democratic nomination campaign, MSNBC reports. The commission dismissed... More »

Facebook Starts a PAC

Social media firm aiming to buy some friends

(Newser) - Looks like the original social network is shopping for a political network: Facebook has filed paperwork to form a political action committee and it plans to use it to funnel donations to its favored candidates in upcoming elections, reports the New York Times . As debates about privacy and monopoly concerns... More »

FEC Approves Colbert's PAC

In a move that actually scares some activists

(Newser) - The FEC today approved Stephen Colbert’s request to form a Super PAC that can accept and spend unlimited quantities of money on the 2012 elections. The hearing, alas, was “devoid of anything beyond a gentle chuckle,” with Colbert attorney Trevor Potter doing all the talking, according to... More »

Obama Looks to Crack Down on Secret Donations

Administration actions would replace law Congress fails to pass

(Newser) - The Obama administration has drafted an executive order that would force all companies seeking government contracts to disclose their donations to groups airing political ads, as part of a multi-pronged attack on the kind of anonymous campaign spending Republicans walloped Democrats with last year. The FEC is also moving to... More »

Steele Hid $7M in Debt From FEC: RNC Treasurer

RNC accused of fudging its numbers

(Newser) - The Republican National Committee’s treasurer has found $7 million in debts the committee didn’t report to the FEC, and has accused Michael Steele of intentionally hiding them. The finding, reported to the FEC yesterday, is likely to bring a big fine down on the committee, which now looks... More »

Sotomayor's First Case Could Transform US Politics

New justice in at the deep end with landmark campaign finance case

(Newser) - There aren't any easy cases at the Supreme Court level but the one newbie Sonia Sotomayor and her eight colleagues will tackle  tomorrow is as momentous—and as tricky—as they come, McClatchy reports. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission will require the court to decide whether the long-standing ban... More »

GOPers Spot End Run Around Election Law

FEC rule lets 1-man corporations pool their resources

(Newser) - A decision by campaign-finance regulators has a pair of GOP strategists hoping to skirt limits set by election law, Politico reports. The Federal Election Commission recently OK’d ad buys made by a solo activist’s one-man corporation. That gave the strategists an idea: Rich individuals could avoid rules against... More »

Palin Shopping Spree OK: Feds

Commission nixes complaint that RNC's $150K in clothing purchases broke law

(Newser) - The Federal Election Commission dismissed today a complaint that the Republican National Committee broke the law when it bought $150,000 in clothes for then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the Anchorage Daily News reports. The FEC said purchases were “coordinated party expenditures” for campaign purposes, and did not violate... More »

Clinton Writes Off $13.2M Campaign Loan

Forgiving loan helps clear way for confirmation at State

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton has formally written off the $13.2 million of her own money she lent to her presidential campaign, Bloomberg reports. The move is a big step toward shutting down her campaign committee and removing a potential stumbling block to her Senate confirmation as secretary of state. Clinton still... More »

Obama Ordered to Return Illegal Donations

Newsweek report prompts GOP to request federal inquiry

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s record-breaking $485-million war chest includes a number of small, illegal donations that federal officials have ordered the campaign to return, reports Newsweek. The GOP has requested a federal investigation into Obama’s campaign finances, the Washington Post writes. Roughly half of Obama's funds have been raised through... More »

Clinton Lends Campaign $1M as Debts Mount

Reticent donors make mountain of liabilities difficult to pay off

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton lent her suspended presidential campaign an additional $1 million at the end of last month, according to filings with the Federal Election Commission. The newest self-loan—the New York senator has now lent herself $13.2 million—underscores how much difficulty she is facing in retiring her mountain... More »

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