For Election Law Junkies Only

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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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Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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