, 17 tweets, 20 min read Read on Twitter
NEW: Candidates, political parties, super PACs, and #darkmoney orgs routinely spend billions of dollars to secure power in the political system. But the @FEC fails to ensure they don’t break our election laws. Our new report looks at why it doesn't work: issueone.org/busted-broke-w…
@FEC The @FEC lacks the budget, staff, and teeth it needs to enforce the country’s campaign finance laws as the 2020 elections unfold
@FEC While it is common knowledge that the FEC gridlocks frequently, it is less known that the agency is severely understaffed and underfunded. The lack of resources is crippling the enforcement of existing election and anti-corruption laws.
@FEC "As the nation heads into what is expected to be the most expensive election in history, with foreign actors dead-set on interfering in our elections, the public deserves a watchdog with the power to hold wrongdoers accountable," said @Nick_Penniman.
@FEC @Nick_Penniman Added @IOMcGehee: “Feckless enforcement of existing laws undermines the integrity of our political system. The FEC needs an adequate budget and an adequate staff to have the teeth necessary to be a true enforcement agency and not a paper tiger.”
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee New research by Issue One shows there's been a dramatic decline in fines issued by the @FEC. During the past 5 years, the median amount of fines issued annually was just $825,000 (in 2018 dollars), compared to $4.6 million (adjusted for inflation) in the 5 years following BCRA
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee If one more commissioner leaves the FEC, the agency will cease to function. There are currently two vacancies on the six-member commission, and four votes are required to take action. The FEC currently needs unanimous consent to take action on anything.
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee Additionally, each sitting commissioner is serving on a well-expired term, including Chair @EllenLWeintraub, who has been at the agency for more than 16 years. (Each FEC commissioner’s term is supposed to be six years.)
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub The last two commissioners — Republican Lee Goodman and Democrat @AnnMRavel — both left the agency before serving a full six years
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub @AnnMRavel The FEC suffers from ongoing, crippling brain drain and low morale. The FEC has lost 24 employees during the past three years without replacing them. Over the past 16 years, roughly one in five employees has left the FEC without being replaced
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub @AnnMRavel The FEC’s budget has stagnated — but its oversight responsibilities have not. The agency’s enforcement division has shrunk to just 41 employees — down from 59 in 2010 — while the case backlog continues to grow (from 100 cases in 2010 to 329 in 2018).
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub @AnnMRavel Neither Democrats nor Republicans have made new FEC nominations a priority.

During his eight years in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama nominated people to fill just three seats on the FEC, while he could have nominated six.
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub @AnnMRavel The sole individual Obama nominated during his first term withdrew from the process, and the two who were confirmed as FEC commissioners during Obama’s second term left the agency before either served a full six years
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub @AnnMRavel To date, @POTUS, who could likewise nominate 6 new FEC commissioners, has nominated just 1. But the Senate has never acted on Trump’s nomination, even though there are 2 vacancies and the 4 sitting commissioners are each serving at least 6 years past the expiration of their terms
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub @AnnMRavel @POTUS The vacancies don’t stop at the top: A recent inspector general report noted that vacancies at the management level could result in inadequate oversight of daily operations.
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub @AnnMRavel @POTUS As former Republican chairman of the FEC @thetrevorpotter has said, the commission “is an actual impediment to enforcement of the law.”
@FEC @Nick_Penniman @IOMcGehee @EllenLWeintraub @AnnMRavel @POTUS @thetrevorpotter All this speaks to a federal agency that is unable — and — to fulfill its mission.

The @FEC today is underfunded, understaffed, and the anti-corruption laws that help guarantee the integrity of our campaigns are underenforced. Read the full report: issueone.org/wp-content/upl…
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