The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is the agency that supposedly enforces America's campaign finance laws.  It is badly broken. 


The structure of the FEC is pretty hard to believe (especially from the point-of-view of a new political party!).  The agency is made-up of six commissioners:  three Republicans, three Democrats.  As you can imagine, the votes are almost exclusively party-line votes, which results largely in a “no decision” outcome.  This, in turn, leads to complete ineffectiveness and inaction – and practically zero enforcement.  The FEC and its lack of effectiveness pretty much mirrors that of Congress because, for the most part, presidents generally leave the decisions of the FEC to congressional leaders.   

In 2015, Ann Ravel, who was then the chairwoman of the FEC, made a startling statement in an interview:  "The likelihood of the laws being enforced is slim.  I never want to give up, but I’m not under any illusions.  People think the FEC is dysfunctional.  It’s worse than dysfunctional."  Ouch!

Congress should change the entire structure of the FEC. 












Eric Lichtblau.  "FEC Can’t Curb 2016 Election Abuse, Commission Chief Says."  New York Times.  2 May 2015 



The number of commissioners should change from six to five, and they should be chosen on a nonpartisan basis.  At a minimum, the commissioners should include at least one independent.

Because there would now be only five commissioners, three votes would be required for any FEC action.

Instead of the president nominating commissioners, a nonpartisan committee should nominate potential commissioners, to be confirmed by the Senate.

Greater authority should be given to the FEC chairman, including broader investigative powers.