June 02, 2008

A New (Possibly Major) Hiccup in Breaking the FEC Impasse

It looked like the FEC nomination logjam was going to end just before the Memorial Day recess, until the nominations got caught up in a larger battle over nominations in the Senate. I just told a reporter that assuming that broader controversy could be resolved, I thought that the FEC impasse would quickly come to an end. But now comes news of a major new hiccup.

One of the nominees, Don McGahn, has been criticized for being "Tom DeLay's lawyer." Like Bob Bauer, I find that kind of argument against McGahn to be completely off base. Everyone is entitled to a good election lawyer, especially someone who really needs one. But along comes a new lawsuit against McGahn arising out of his representation of ARMPAC, a PAC controlled by Tom DeLay. If the facts outlined in this must-read complaint are true, it could be big trouble for McGahn. Now I have no idea if these claims are in fact true, but the very filing of the complaint could well make some Senators think twice before confirming McGahn to the commission. And if there is a problem with McGahn, the whole deal for the FEC could fall apart yet again.

UPDATE: I've just been told that McGahn was dismissed from the lawsuit when it was originally filed on grounds that the Texas court lacked personal jurisdiction over him. The case has since been transferred to D.C., but McGahn is not currently in this case. We'll see how this plays out.

Posted by Rick Hasen at June 2, 2008 04:09 PM