For Election Law Junkies Only

| Thu Jan. 15, 2009 2:30 PM EST

You'll be happy to know that the Federal Elections Commission appears genuinely committed to improving itself. The FEC is conducting what CREW is calling an "unprecedented self-examination of its operating procedures," holding public hearings on its own performance and asking election lawyers from around the country to submit suggestions on its policies and procedures. Marc Elias, a Democratic lawyer who has been lending a hand to Al Franken's Senate bid, said, "What they're asking us to do is to comment on how the agency itself functions, and that's pretty unusual.... The commission should be congratulated for doing this." If you want to read about the most significant suggestions to come out of the public hearings, click here.

Don't get too excited, though. (I know, you were getting really excited.) It's admirable that the FEC is willing to do the hard work to improve itself. But it still suffers from a fundamentally flawed structure. The commission is composed of three Republican operatives and three Democratic operatives (all openly partisan and willing to go to bat for their parties and allied interests) who are put into office by the politicians they are tasked to regulated. The result is a perpetually weak enforcement body that will never really ensure clean elections in this country. More on the FEC here.

PS — Did I guarantee myself zero readers with that headline?

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