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 »
HE WAS 83
Charles Manson Dead
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

Manson "died Sunday of natural causes, according to the California Department of Corrections. He was 83. ...Manson served nine life terms in California prisons and was denied parole 12 times."

Source:
AT ISSUE: COMEY FIRING, SESSIONS’S RECUSAL
Mueller Seeks Documents from DOJ
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

Special counsel Robert Mueller "is now demanding documents from the department overseeing his investigation." A source tells ABC News that "Mueller's investigators are keen to obtain emails related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey and the earlier decision of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the entire matter."

Source:
MULVANEY SAYS PROVISION ISN’T A DEALBREAKER
Trump May Be OK with Dropping Mandate Repeal
13 hours ago
THE LATEST

"President Donald Trump would not insist on including repeal of an Obama-era health insurance mandate in a bill intended to enact the biggest overhaul of the tax code since the 1980s, a senior White House aide said on Sunday. The version of tax legislation put forward by Senate Republican leaders would remove a requirement in former President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law that taxes Americans who decline to buy health insurance."

Source:
FRANKEN JUST THE BEGINNING?
Media Devoting More Resources to Lawmakers’ Sexual Misconduct
13 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Members of Congress with histories of mistreating women should be extremely nervous. Major outlets, including CNN, are dedicating substantial newsroom resources to investigating sexual harassment allegations against numerous lawmakers. A Republican source told me he's gotten calls from well-known D.C. reporters who are gathering stories about sleazy members."

Source:
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
2 days ago
THE DETAILS
×
×

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