Politicizing the Justice Department wasn’t enough. Crippling regulatory agencies like the FDA wasn’t enough. Now we learn that, in a holdover from the Karl Rove era, the Republican Party has declared our election laws null and void by roadblocking any investigations or enforcement by the Federal Election Commission.
the three Republicans on the commission — led by Tom DeLay’s former ethics lawyer — have voted as a block against enforcement, preventing the commission from carrying out its basic regulatory function. As the normally mild-mannered Washington Post editorial board wrote recently: “The three Republican appointees are turning the commission into The Little Agency That Wouldn’t: wouldn’t launch investigations, wouldn’t bring cases, wouldn’t even accept settlements that the staff had already negotiated.”
Craig Holman of Public Citizen told TPMmuckraker the commission is currently “defunct.”
FEC watchers say the commission’s three Republicans — Donald McGahn, Matthew Petersen, and Caroline Hunter, each nominated by President Bush — are acting out of philosophical opposition to the very idea of regulating campaign money. “It’s the Republican caucus that actually believes there shouldn’t be campaign-finance regulation,” said Holman. “It is ideologic….”