Campaign Contributions Go Into the Shadows During Shutdown

Come Nov. 5, voters could still be in the dark about who has been funding the candidates they are voting for.

National Journal
Brian Resnick
Add to Briefcase
Brian Resnick
Oct. 2, 2013, 8:44 a.m.

There are four people work­ing at the Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion dur­ing the shut­down. There are usu­ally 339. This is the agency that’s meant to shine a light on cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions and ex­pendit­ures, to let the people know who is pay­ing for the at­tack ads flood­ing their tele­vi­sion screens as Elec­tion Day ap­proaches.

Cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions are go­ing in­to the dark.

Cam­paigns can still file elec­tron­ic­ally, but if the sys­tem breaks, there will be no one around to fix the prob­lem. “And it is pos­sible that tech­no­lo­gic­al prob­lems may arise that would pre­vent filers from fil­ing on time,” FEC’s web­site states.

But more than that, they won’t have much ca­pa­city to make the re­ports pub­lic. “I don’t know how to per­son­ally post the re­ports — I’m a little out of my league there,” com­mis­sion Chair­wo­man El­len Wein­traub, one of the four people work­ing, told the Cen­ter for Pub­lic In­teg­rity. “The pub­lic will have to go without dis­clos­ures un­til we open back up.” Also, cam­paigns won’t be pen­al­ized for miss­ing dead­lines due to the shut­down.

If the shut­down lasts for a few weeks, the FEC could still be closed for a key Oct. 15 con­gres­sion­al fil­ing dead­line. That’s the dead­line, the Sun­light Found­a­tion ex­plains,

for all polit­ic­al com­mit­tees that file quarterly (a group that in­cludes most House can­did­ates) to have their pa­per­work in­to the FEC. Five days later, the re­ports of monthly filers (mostly polit­ic­al ac­tion com­mit­tees, in­clud­ing su­per PACs) are due.

When the gov­ern­ment re­opens, cam­paigns that have missed fil­ings will have 24 hours to com­ply. For a com­mis­sion with a his­tory of back­logs, that could fur­ther im­pede pub­lic post­ings.

What We're Following See More »
KIM CALLS TRUMP A “DOTARD”
North Korea Threatens H-Bomb Test Over Pacific
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"North Korea said on Friday it might test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean after President Donald Trump vowed to destroy the reclusive country, with leader Kim Jong Un promising to make Trump pay dearly for his threats. Kim did not specify what action he would take against the United States or Trump, whom he called a 'mentally deranged U.S. dotard' in the latest bout of insults the two leaders have traded in recent weeks."

Source:
INFORMS CONGRESS RE: EXECUTIVE ORDER
Trump Makes Good on Promise of New North Korea Sanctions
1 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump this afternoon announced another round of sanctions on North Korea, calling the regime "a continuing threat." The executive order, which Trump relayed to Congress, bans any ship or plane that has visited North Korea from visiting the United States within 180 days. The order also authorizes sanctions on any financial institution doing business with North Korea, and permits the secretaries of State and the Treasury to sanction any person involved in trading with North Korea, operating a port there, or involved in a variety of industries there.

SOUTH KOREA WILL SEND AID
Trump Promises More Sanctions on North Korea
2 days ago
THE LATEST

In response to a reporter's question, President Trump said "he’ll be looking to impose further financial penalties on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic tests. ... The U.N. has passed two resolutions recently aimed at squeezing the North Korean economy by cutting off oil, labor and exports to the nation." Meanwhile, the Guardian reports that South Korea's unification ministry is sending an $8m aid package aimed at infants and pregnant women in North Korea. The "humanitarian gesture [is] at odds with calls by Japan and the US for unwavering economic and diplomatic pressure on Pyongyang."

Source:
HIGHLIGHT ISSUES FACING KIDS
FLOTUS to Speak at UN Luncheon
3 days ago
THE LATEST
PRESSES CASE FOR REFORMS
Trump Meets with UN Leaders
3 days ago
THE LATEST

President Trump on Tuesday night met with UN Secretary Guterres and President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak. In both cases, as per releases from the White House, Trump pressed them on the need to reform the UN bureaucracy.

×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login