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The White House Must Now Address FEC Reform | The Nation

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George Zornick

George Zornick

Action and dysfunction in the Beltway swamp. E-mail tips to george@thenation.com

The White House Must Now Address FEC Reform

Last month, we noted the progressive push to get Federal Election Commission reform from the White House. A wide array of good government and campaign finance groups joined forces to ask President Obama to install new FEC members with recess appointments or some other avenue, before the 2012 elections.

The FEC frequently fails to enforce even basic campaign finance rules—it hasn’t issued a single major ruling on Super PACs, for example—and this is largely due to an even split between Republican and Democratic members.

The groups’ petition drive was targeted at the White House online outreach page, which guarantees an official response if any petition gets 25,000 signatures. The groups announced today that they crossed that barrier.

“The people have spoken, and now we’ll see if the White House is listening,” CREW executive director Melanie Sloan said in a statement. “It is time for President Obama to appoint new commissioners who will faithfully enforce our nation’s campaign finance laws.”

The administration’s response is going to be very interesting to watch, especially since just this week the president’s campaign fully embraced the use of Super PACs. In announcing that move, campaign manager Jim Messina promised that while Obama was forced to compete on the Super PAC playing field for now, he remains serious about campaign finance reform. We’ll soon see if that extends to reforming the FEC.

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