Two Republicans on the Federal Election Commission, Matthew Petersen and Caroline Hunter, are distancing themselves from recent, controversial comments by fellow Republican Lee Goodman about the partisan impact of FEC enforcement decisions.
“After the recent dustup regarding alleged partisan considerations in the FEC’s enforcement process, we would like to clarify that, in our nearly seven years as commissioners, party affiliation has never governed how we determine the timing or disposition of enforcement matters,” said a statement e-mailed June 1 to Bloomberg BNA by Petersen, the FEC vice chairman, and Hunter.
“Carrying out our responsibilities is already complex and difficult enough without dragging politics into the mix,” they said.
The statement did not specifically cite Goodman’s remarks in a recent FEC open meeting, but clearly alluded to his statement in the May 21 meeting. Goodman said that the FEC Republican commissioners were reluctant to approve new procedures to speed up resolution of campaign finance enforcement matters because the backlog of complaints at the FEC involves many more Republicans and conservative groups than Democrats and liberal groups (4015 Money & Politics Report, 5/22/15
Responding to Petersen and Hunter in a separate e-mail to Bloomberg BNA, Goodman said he agreed that “partisanship should play no role in any policy guiding the Commission’s consideration of cases.” But he also reiterated a previous statement published on the Election Law Blog that proposals to expedite FEC enforcement “cannot be considered blind to the fact that the FEC’s complainant class has filed three complaints against a Republican or conservative respondent for every one involving a Democratic or liberal respondent.”