May 16, 2008

Breaking News: Hans von Spakovsky Withdraws Nomination for FEC Commissioner; What Will This Mean for Commissioner Mason?

Here it comes on a lazy Friday afternoon:

TPM Muckraker has the details. The letter from von Spakovsky is here. More from AP and Roll Call on the President "reluctantly" accepting the withdrawal.

I think this almost certainly breaks the logjam for FEC nominations. I expect McGahn, Hunter, and Bauerly to be quickly confirmed to the FEC. With the committee hearing scheduled for May 21, it is possible this will happen before Memorial Day. Current Commissioner Ellen Weintraub will remain on the commission.

There will also have to be a vote on Steven Walther, who was a recess appointee who will need confirmation. [An earlier version of this post incorrectly left out Walther.] The big question is what happens to Commissioner Mason. I and others have suggested that Commissioner Mason, a Republican on the committee, may have been dropped because he planned to examine whether Sen. McCain violated the rules related to public financing in the primary election. See here. Trevor Potter, speaking for the McCain campaign, declined to take a position on the Mason controversy. It remains to be seen whether Commissioner Mason's position on the FEC will now get new life. I wouldn't bet on it.

Posted by Rick Hasen at May 16, 2008 02:31 PM