End Citizens United (ECU) // Let America Vote (LAV) Action Fund President Tiffany Muller issued the following statement in advance of today’s House Administration Committee’s hearing on the Federal Election Commission (FEC):
“The avalanche of unlimited and undisclosed money in our elections since Citizens United, coupled with the FEC’s absolute refusal to carry out its obligations, has led to unfettered corruption in our democracy. We’re living in the Wild West of campaign spending thanks to a concerted right-wing effort.
“Time and again, we see corrupt politicians and mega-donors deliberately break the law because they know the FEC won’t even give them a slap on the wrist. Republican lawmakers have purposely ensured gridlock and dysfunction within the FEC, which has rendered one of the most important governmental agencies toothless and hollow.
“Without meaningful reforms to revitalize the FEC, the degradation of our democracy will continue––and our foreign adversaries will be emboldened to meddle in our elections. The reforms laid out in the Freedom to Vote Act are necessary and long overdue. We need the FEC to be fully functioning and adapting to the ever-changing landscape of modern elections.
“This should not be a Republican or Democratic issue––it’s a matter of national security and the survival of our democracy. Congress must pass these reforms immediately. We thank Congressman Joe Morelle for holding this important hearing and his continued commitment to rooting out corruption.”
This summer, End Citizens United and Campaign Legal Center Action won a lawsuit against the FEC. The case centered around the problematic pattern of FEC Commissioners delaying the release of their reasoning for dismissing complaints regarding campaign finance violations. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ruling in favor of End Citizens United that will require the agency to explain its reasons for dismissing a matter in a timely fashion.
The Freedom to Vote Act (H.R. 11/S. 1) would make crucial reforms to the FEC to ensure that the agency is not mired in partisan gridlock and has real enforcement power. The bill would require a majority vote to shut down an investigation at the preliminary stages of the process. It would also extend the statute of limitations for pursuing civil and criminal enforcement of federal campaign finance law from 5 to 10 years to ensure that lawbreakers are held accountable.