FEC Nominations Start to Move in the Senate
Update 3:58 p.m.
By Matthew Mosk
There may soon be a referee to hear disputes about election rules in the 2008 race for president.
The Senate Committee on Rules and Administration this morning approved the nomination of three new members to the Federal Election Commission.
Action on the nominees had been stalled for months because Democrats objected to one of President Bush's choices for the six member panel. That left the FEC incapable to rule on a series of complaints about fundraising by various presidential candidates.
"This vote comes not a moment too soon," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the committee chairman. "It is unconscionable that in the middle of a presidential election year, with campaign committees spending millions of dollars, that we don't have our federal election watchdog in place."
The three nominees whose names will now head to the full senate for approval are:
Cynthia L. Bauerly, of Minnesota, for appointment to a term expiring April 30, 2011, for the seat held by Robert D. Lenhard. Caroline C. Hunter, of Florida, for appointment to a term expiring April 30, 2013, for the seat held by Michael E. Toner. And Donald F. McGahn, of the District, for appointment to a term expiring April 30, 2009, for the seat held by David M. Mason.
The name of a fourth nominee, Steven Walther, was previously reported to the floor.
Another nominee, Hans Von Spakovsly, withdrew his name from consideration last week, and today President Bush announced plans to send the name of a fifth nominee to the Senate, Matthew S. Petersen of Utah, who is currently the chief counsel for the minority on the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.
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