“Elections Commission Chief Uses the ‘Nuclear Option’ to Rescue the Agency From Gridlock”

Mother Jones:

The FEC chairmanship, which rotates among the commissioners each year, is mostly a ceremonial role without any real power. But Weintraub plans to use her veto power to stop the FEC from defending itself in court, since the agency needs four votes to initiate a legal defense. 

So what happens when the FEC gets sued and is not authorized to defend itself, as Weintraub plans? “It has not happened in the history of the agency,” she told Mother Jones

“If [the commissioners] are not going to vote to enforce the law, I’m not going to pull any punches and I’m not going to be shy about calling them out,” she said. “And if we get sued, that requires four votes to defend those kinds of lawsuits…I’m not going to authorize the use of agency resources to defend that litigation.”

Four campaign finance lawyers, including three who used to work at the FEC, confirmed to Mother Jones that Weintraub’s new strategy was unprecedented and could lead to significant changes to the campaign finance system, depending on how the courts respond.


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