Gridlock isn't unique to Congress...

The person in charge of our Federal Election Commission says she has pretty much given up hope of regulating the 2016 election. That agency has been unable to reach a conclusion on any key vote, because they are perpetually locked in a 3-to-3 tie along party lines.

In an interview with the New York Times, FEC Chairwoman Ann M. Ravel said, “The likelihood of the laws being enforced is slim.” She's not even talking about dealing with new rules to address the massive level of corruption in our political system. She's saying that they can't even hold anyone accountable for violating the inadequate rules that are already on the books.

According to that recent piece in the Times, “Some commissioners are barely on speaking terms, cross-aisle negotiations are infrequent, and with no consensus on which rules to enforce, the caseload against violators has plummeted.”

So, the FEC recognizes that groups and individuals are violating election laws, but they can't get along long enough to do anything about that, let alone protect the integrity of our elections in 2016. This amounts to telling a thief that you're leaving the front door unlocked, and that you'll be too busy arguing with your neighbors to worry about who might get inside.

Since the earliest days of this great nation, protecting our democratic process has been paramount. Without the right of We, The People to select our representatives and decide on issues, this country would have been no different than the monarchies and dictatorships that came before our democratic republic. And, in the wake of the Supreme Court's disastrous Citizens United ruling, it's more important than ever that we hold people accountable when they violate the law.

It's the FEC's job to protect the integrity of our elections, and it's about time that we put pressure on that agency to make sure that they stop bickering and start doing their job.

Comments

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 6 weeks ago
#1

At the very least, the rules should be changed to empower 3 members, instead of 4, to pursue action.

Beyond that, if something is against federal law, why can't the FBI or the Attorney General just go take care of it? Does the U.S. code specifically prohibit them from enforcing election law?

ulTRAX's picture
ulTRAX 9 years 6 weeks ago
#2

In a hyper-partisan environment, what should we expect when there are only six commissioners and no more than 3 can be members of the same party? Why aren't there and odd number of commissioners to break ties? Why aren't there any members who are independents? Why aren't they ALL independents?

liz banker 9 years 6 weeks ago
#3

We should all be worried when the six debates Hillary, Senator Sanders, and whoever else decides to run on the Democratic side. I can already see this happening..... Hillary will nod in agreement with much of what Senator Sanders brings up in the debates in his response to the biased cookie-cutter questions, getting us all to think Hillary is as Progressive on principle as would be Senator Sanders, Senator Warren, etc. Hillary will have that smirk on her face knowing the Democratic Party really only has her as a viable candiate in contrast to the Republican presidential candidates. The "serious" questions will be directed at Hillary, while questions for Senator Sanders will try and make him look like a "kooky old man" - kind of like the way questions were directed at that mousey-looking short guy from Cleveland, Ohio, Congressman Dennis Kusinich in 2008. People also vote on appearance, image, the importance of looking "presidential" -which could partially explain the 200 years of White, male, tall in stature selection process.

Mark J. Saulys's picture
Mark J. Saulys 9 years 6 weeks ago
#4

Can the comission have 7 I stead of 6 members? Or can the vice president break the tie?

w1ders's picture
w1ders 9 years 6 weeks ago
#5

If he could get his foot out of his mouth long enough. I think we are pretty much out of luck for the forseeable future. The nuts are running the asylum. With a roadblock at every step.

stecoop01's picture
stecoop01 9 years 6 weeks ago
#6

I'm going to swerve off topic and invite some suggestions on the following:

GOP has always stood for Grand Old Party. But these days, maybe the letters G, O, and P should stand for something else, such as Greedy Old Party. So break out your thesarus' and come up with some suggestions.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 6 weeks ago
#7

w1ders -- Whose foot?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 9 years 6 weeks ago
#8

America is so bloody sad!

Ever heard of a 'casting vote"?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 9 years 6 weeks ago
#9

Hyper partisan?

Does that mean recism?

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 9 years 6 weeks ago
#10

Liz... pure speculation

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 6 weeks ago
#11
Quote ulTRAX:In a hyper-partisan environment, what should we expect when there are only six commissioners and no more than 3 can be members of the same party? Why aren't there and odd number of commissioners to break ties? Why aren't there any members who are independents? Why aren't they ALL independents?

ulTRAX ~ You took the words right out of my mouth. Here's a thought. How about a disinterested third party sits in to break ties. Might I suggest a rotating order of Supreme Court Justices?

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 9 years 6 weeks ago
#12
Quote stecoop01:

I'm going to swerve off topic and invite some suggestions on the following:

GOP has always stood for Grand Old Party. But these days, maybe the letters G, O, and P should stand for something else, such as Greedy Old Party. So break out your thesarus' and come up with some suggestions.

stecoop01 ~ Here's one for you... How about Grotesque Opulent Parasites?

cccccttttt 9 years 6 weeks ago
#13

Agree with your point that the total members should be changed from 6 to 7.

Clearly those who designed it knew that buying 3 votes is cheaper than 4.

To the bigger point, a European parlimentary democracy avoids this US schizoid style of governing.

The winning party or coallition of parties fills all the oversight committees with their own people.

Those members then get their shot at fixing problems with their ideas.

If they fail in the public view, they are swept out when the ruling party is voted out.

While our "checks and balances" form of democracy has for over two hundred years indeed prevented the rise of a king, we now suffer from rule by a two headed dragon.

A dragon whose heads agree on nothing and whose heads must thus produce gridlock.

ct

lmgrey's picture
lmgrey 9 years 5 weeks ago
#14

For the first time the US may need foreigners to help monitor the integrity of our national elections . Have we become a 3rd world nation unable to manage our own elections?

telliottmbamsc's picture
telliottmbamsc 9 years 5 weeks ago
#15

get ready for President Scotty Walker

Willie W's picture
Willie W 9 years 5 weeks ago
#16

GOP? Greedy Old People.

RLTOWNSLEY's picture
RLTOWNSLEY 9 years 5 weeks ago
#17

Very likely due to ongoing under funding of the various regulatory agencies that have been mandated to ferret out potential problems and violators. It's not hard to break the law when theirs no cops on the street ! But there continues to be sufficient funding to bail out private banks who were allowed to run free selling unregulated derivatives because the FTC, an agency created a year after the FED came into existence, lacked the funding and experienced personnel to discover and prosecute the vast corruption ! Can we really be surprised that the cops bailed out in droves to take highly paid positions with the institutions that they were investigating ?

mathboy's picture
mathboy 9 years 5 weeks ago
#18

Greedy Oligarchic Putzes.

Hephaestus, I had never encountered the term "casting vote", but of course was familiar with the concept. Thanks for the vocabulary.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 5 weeks ago
#19

Reply to #6: How about Greedy Old Pigs?

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