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Federal Election Commission (FEC) Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen announced his resignation today. Chalk up another federal agency unable to do its work. This is happening across the federal government. Many agency political appointments simply haven’t been nominated, while some, like Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP)’s science division simply shut down because no staff have been hired; while others like USDA have sought to erode the agency’s work by forceably relocating its staff to places like Kansas City (and then cutting staff buyouts to boot!). This is disturbing to say the least.
Federal Election Commission Vice Chairman Matthew Petersen announced his resignation today.
This means the agency that enforces and regulates the nation’s campaign finance laws will effectively shut down — something that hasn’t happened since 2008 — because it won’t have the legal minimum of four commissioners to make high-level decisions.
Petersen’s resignation, first reported by the Washington Examiner, will throw the FEC into turmoil for weeks — and perhaps months — as the nation enters the teeth of 2020 presidential and congressional elections.
- For now, the FEC can’t conduct meetings.
- It can’t slap political scofflaws with fines.
- It can’t make rules.
- It can’t conduct audits and approve them.
- It can’t vote on the outcome of investigations.
And while staff will continue to post campaign finance reports and attend to day-to-day functions, the commission itself can’t offer official advice to politicians and political committees who seek it.