The Federal Election Commission is supposed to administer our campaign finance laws. But it does so little that two longtime observers have dubbed it the “Failure to Enforce Commission.”
Evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, the six-member FEC rarely agrees on even routine business and its work has slowed to a crawl. As recently as 2007, the FEC handled more than 600 enforcement cases; in 2012, amid an explosion in political spending, the panel took up just 135 cases.
The FEC should be modeled after effective law enforcement agencies headed by a single administrator. It needs the power to decide cases and impose punishments independently – today it must go to court -- and to stop illegal political activities before Election Day, not years later.