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FEC Recess Appointments Evade Accountability

January 5, 2006

For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 5, 2006

Contact Information
Natalia Kennedy, 212 998–6736

FEC Recess Appointments Evade Accountability

New York, NY The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law expressed deep concern over the White Houses decision to appoint three Federal Election Commissioners via recess appointment. The appointees, not one of whom appeared before the Senate in public hearings, will constitute a full one-half of the six-member FEC.

Yesterday, with lobbyist Jack Abramoff having entered his second guilty plea in as many days, was a moment calling for integrity and transparency in government, said Michael Waldman, Executive Director of the Brennan Center. Instead, Congress and the White House colluded to deny the American people a public confirmation process for the individuals charged with regulating federal elections.

“Each of the individual appointees provides a perfect illustration of the need for public hearings,” said James Sample, Associate Counsel in the Brennan Centers Democracy Program. “One appointee lacks any apparent experience in election law, another is on record opposing the key federal campaign finance law, and the third has a highly questionable record on voting rights. Such records called for a public process that the recess appointments strategically prevented.”

GOP appointee Hans von Spakovsky played a critical role in upholding Rep. Tom DeLays controversial Texas redistricting plan. Along with other Bush appointees at the Department of Justice, Von Spakovsky overruled the unanimous opinions of DOJs staff attorneys who concluded that the plan violated the Voting Rights Act.