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-   -   No Quorum at FEC (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=881321)

zoog 08-31-2019 06:42 PM

No Quorum at FEC
 
https://www.npr.org/2019/08/30/75552...erence-on-hold

I haven't seen anything about this until today, but this is disturbing. As of yesterday, we don't have a quorum of commissioners on the FEC to enforce election law. I wonder if this will find its way into the mainstream reporting over the next few days?

We do have one pending nominee that Trump sent to the Senate ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO, but the Senate hasn't acted on that yet. And if that nomination is confirmed, that would put 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat, and 1 independent on the commission (which by law can't have more than three members out of the six from one party). Seems to me like it's nearly certain that we'll have an intentionally unbalanced FEC via inaction in the best case, or one that just can't enforce election laws in the worst case because they lack a quorum.

And the three remaining commissioners are all serving well past their six year terms. Seriously, how the hell is this flying under the radar?

bobot 08-31-2019 07:00 PM

I don't know how it's under the radar, but I know I haven't heard anything about it. With Moscow Mitch denying to advance legislation that addresses election security from foreign attacks, maybe it's just difficult to keep up with all of the Republican election shenanigans. One thing I believe, that if House Democrats hear enough about it (ie if it registers negatively on their personal polling radars) from their constituents, they're bound to hold an investigation that runs into the next election cycle.

E-DUB 08-31-2019 08:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoog (Post 21835301)
https://www.npr.org/2019/08/30/75552...erence-on-hold

I haven't seen anything about this until today, but this is disturbing. As of yesterday, we don't have a quorum of commissioners on the FEC to enforce election law. I wonder if this will find its way into the mainstream reporting over the next few days?

We do have one pending nominee that Trump sent to the Senate ALMOST TWO YEARS AGO, but the Senate hasn't acted on that yet. And if that nomination is confirmed, that would put 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat, and 1 independent on the commission (which by law can't have more than three members out of the six from one party). Seems to me like it's nearly certain that we'll have an intentionally unbalanced FEC via inaction in the best case, or one that just can't enforce election laws in the worst case because they lack a quorum.

And the three remaining commissioners are all serving well past their six year terms. Seriously, how the hell is this flying under the radar?

Your use of the phrase "intentionally unbalanced" struck me as amusing.

DinoR 08-31-2019 08:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zoog (Post 21835301)
I wonder if this will find its way into the mainstream reporting over the next few days?

It's already in mainstream reporting. Your cite isn't exactly out on the fringe.

Washington Post
ABC
USA Today
NBC
NY Times

Stuff I care about quite a bit doesn't get a lot of public attention. It drops quickly off the front pages of news organization websites and gets little social media buzz. There's a difference between not hearing about it constantly and it's not getting mainstream media coverage. That difference is the public. If they are paying more attention to the latest controversial celebrity tweet or rumors about an upcoming tv series the stuff you care about can drop off the radar quickly. That reduces mainstream followup coverage. Fewer resources get dedicated to stories people aren't following. That's different than it not being reported in the first place. That's people with busy lives missing it or not caring as much as you do.

zoog 09-01-2019 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by E-DUB (Post 21835403)
Your use of the phrase "intentionally unbalanced" struck me as amusing.

Yeah, it's an archaic concept that we should have a balanced, bi-partisan federal watchdog to keep an eye on our elections. That's so last century.

zoog 09-01-2019 01:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DinoR (Post 21835424)
It's already in mainstream reporting. Your cite isn't exactly out on the fringe.

Washington Post
ABC
USA Today
NBC
NY Times

Stuff I care about quite a bit doesn't get a lot of public attention. It drops quickly off the front pages of news organization websites and gets little social media buzz. There's a difference between not hearing about it constantly and it's not getting mainstream media coverage. That difference is the public. If they are paying more attention to the latest controversial celebrity tweet or rumors about an upcoming tv series the stuff you care about can drop off the radar quickly. That reduces mainstream followup coverage. Fewer resources get dedicated to stories people aren't following. That's different than it not being reported in the first place. That's people with busy lives missing it or not caring as much as you do.

Fair point. I did dig in a little bit last night and I found a couple of those links. But best as I can tell, it didn't actually make it to air on the network news that I tend to look at (including the Newshour on PBS, which is where I usually pick up stuff like this).

To some degree this is on us because we as a nation just don't care about this kind of thing and we'd rather be distracted than informed. I can be guilty of that myself. I see a lot of these kinds of stories and think "Oh well, another stain on the whorehouse sheet" and move on to the next story. But this strikes me as a pretty big problem that's been brewing with very little notice over the last several years. I'm not optimistic that it's going to get noticed by the general public, let alone fixed.

Sherrerd 09-01-2019 05:55 PM

Maddow did a segment on the story on the 26th:

Quote:

Ellen Weintraub, commission chair of the FEC, talks with Rachel Maddow about what it means in practical terms that the FEC does not have a quorum after the resignation of another commissioner.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y24FU0SEoVc

But DinoR's point is very cogent. The media outfits, except NPR and PBS, all exist to make a profit, and so they spend time on the stories that keep people tuned in. (And even NPR and PBS are constrained by the need to keep their corporate sponsors happy.)

Buck Godot 09-02-2019 09:24 AM

The reason that this hasn't made the mainstream is that the FEC has been dysfunctional for at least the last five years. I agree that it is a huge deal particularly in the age of Trump where all pretense of ethical behavior can be dropped so long as your side win. But there isn't really any news to report other than "Yeah, it's still dysfunctional".


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