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Trump Must Appoint FEC Commissioners Committed to Upholding the Law

September 7, 2017 | Adam Smith

Washington, D.C.—Campaign finance watchdog Every Voice responded to President Donald Trump’s nomination of FEC Commissioner Matthew Petersen to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, leaving—if he’s confirmed—two spots open at the federal government’s elections watchdog.

“Donald Trump’s nomination of Petersen is the latest in a long line of examples that the president has given up on his promise to drain the swamp in Washington,” said David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice. “Petersen has repeatedly failed to uphold our country’s campaign finance laws while FEC commissioner and, if confirmed to the DC Court, he’ll have jurisdiction in lawsuits brought against that very agency for that kind of inaction. This is a clear conflict he’ll need to address during his confirmation hearings.”

“If Petersen is confirmed, Trump should replace him–and the other spot left open by the resignation of Ann Ravel earlier this year–with commissioners committed to enforcing our campaign finance laws and holding violators accountable, not simply partisan actors,” said David Donnelly, president and CEO of Every Voice. “With new reports that Russian entities illegally bought ads to influence the 2016 election and so much public anger at the influence of big money in our elections, now more than ever we need watchdogs truly committed to protecting our democracy from lawbreakers and undue foreign influence.”

FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel resigned earlier this year and Trump has not nominated a replacement. If Petersen is confirmed, the commission will have the bare minimum number of commissioners needed for quorum—four. This summer, led by Commissioner Weintraub, the FEC debated the agency’s ability to address foreign influence but took no action.