“New FEC chairman aims to calm agency at war with itself”

Dave Levinthal for CPI:

The Federal Election Commission, a government agency tasked with policing what’s expected to be the nation’s most expensive election ever, will drag itself into the new year perhaps more internally injured than at any point in its 40-year history.

It will do so under the leadership of Matthew Petersen, a Republican who his five commission colleagues, in a perfunctory vote, today appointed chairman for 2016. The job switches annually between Republicans and Democrats.

But Petersen, a soft-spoken and professorial attorney by trade, says his tenure at the FEC’s helm will prove decidedly different than that of Democrat Ann Ravel, the current chairwoman who’s used her office’s meager power — a bully pulpit, mainly — to its maximum.

“I’ve learned to take a more low-profile approach,” he told the Center for Public Integrity in an interview earlier this month. “I don’t feel any need to have my face out there any more than it is.”

Low profile is something Ravel is not.

Read the whole thing.

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