ON-Lion Letter

In January, a bipartisan group of seven well-known campaign-finance lawyers, including a bipartisan group of three former Federal Election Commission (FEC) chairmen, petitioned the FEC -- proposing new rules providing for improved forms and instructions.  One of the former FEC chairmen is Bradley Prize recipient Bradley A. Smith.

The petition notes that grassroots "or unsophisticated filers are often led astray by the current forms, and that even sophisticated filers must guess about how to translate their conduct to the forms' categories and design quirks.  The consequences include not only unnecessary legal exposure for filers struggling to comply with the Act's reporting requirements, but also inaccurate Commission data as apples and oranges are often reported as each other."

The eight-page petition for rulemaking was made under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a federal law that says that all federal agencies must provide for "the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule." The experts say their proposed changes "would materially improve the ease of filing and the quality of reports" filed with the FEC.  The petition "would enable regulated committees to comply with the Act's reporting and disclosure requirements, could be adopted on a fully bipartisan basis, and would advance the goals of statutory compliance, enforcement, and sound legal administration."

Smith is the Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, and chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) in Alexandria, Va.  The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee supports CCP.

Actions: E-mail | Permalink |