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Enforcement & the FEC

The gridlocked Federal Election Commission has failed to enforce campaign finance law. The Brennan Center has proposed reforms to overhaul and update the agency.

Magnifying glass and buildings: Enforcement & the FEC
BCJ/Getty/maystra/APK/Peter Stark


The govern­ment agency charged with safe­guard­ing our elec­tions has itself become a threat to demo­cracy. Evenly divided and perpetu­ally grid­locked, the Federal Elec­tion Commis­sion has made it more diffi­cult for candid­ates trying to follow the law, and easier for those will­ing to break it. Over the last decade, the FEC has fallen short in its duty to provide candid­ates with guid­ance on key issues, failed to invest­ig­ate alleg­a­tions of malfeas­ance, and neglected to update regu­la­tions to reflect major changes in the law, media, and tech­no­logy. Dysfunc­tion at the agency has exacer­bated some of the worst prob­lems with our campaign finance system, includ­ing dark money, rampant coordin­a­tion between candid­ates and super PACs, and our vulner­ab­il­ity to foreign meddling.

The Bren­nan Center proposes reforms for the FEC to curtail grid­lock, improve account­ab­il­ity, and over­haul the commis­sion’s civil enforce­ment process. 

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