The Chairwoman Who’s At War With Her Own Agency

by - October 13, 2015

Ann Ravel says the Federal Election Commission is badly broken. But is her very public crusade the way to fix it?...

Now the six com­mis­sion­ers had be­fore them a tech­nic­al ques­tion: not wheth­er to act on the pe­ti­tion—which was un­likely to hap­pen, giv­en their 3-3 di­vide on ma­jor ques­tions and the sub­stan­tial par­tis­an enmity among them—but merely wheth­er to pub­lish the text of the pe­ti­tion in the Fed­er­al Re­gister. This form­al­ity set off what was surely one of the most bizarre ex­changes in FEC his­tory. In the view of Mat­thew Petersen, one of the three Re­pub­lic­an com­mis­sion­ers, be­cause Ravel and Wein­traub were sit­ting com­mis­sion­ers neither qual­i­fied as a “per­son” eli­gible to pe­ti­tion the FEC. Car­oline Hunter, an­oth­er Re­pub­lic­an com­mis­sion­er, agreed, say­ing there was “a lot of com­mon sense” in Petersen’s reas­on­ing.Ravel and Wein­traub were taken aback. “First of all, let me say, I can­not be­lieve that you are ac­tu­ally go­ing to take the po­s­i­tion that I am not a per­son,” Wein­traub said. “A cor­por­a­tion is a per­son, but I’m not a per­son? … That’s how bad it has got­ten. My col­leagues will not ad­mit that I am a per­son.”“My chil­dren,” she later re­marked, “are go­ing to be really dis­ap­poin­ted.”“I think you’re not an ali­en,” Hunter dead­panned, “at least not today.”

Source: NationalJournal

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