Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) released the following statement today on the resignation of Federal Election Commission (FEC) Vice Chair Matthew Petersen, which reduces the number of commissioners on the agency’s six-member panel to three, one below the legal limit for a quorum, thereby barring the agency from enforcing America’s campaign finance laws:
“The resignation of Federal Election Commissioner Petersen will effectively shut down the FEC, significantly degrading its ability to fully enforce our nation’s campaign finance laws as we head into the 2020 election cycle.
“At a time when secret money and wealthy donors – both foreign and domestic – seek to influence the outcome of our elections and interfere in our democracy, we cannot afford to have an absent cop on the campaign finance beat. I call on President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to swiftly fill the vacant Commissioner seats with individuals who are able and willing to enforce and administer our nation’s campaign finance laws. Anything less would be abdication of duty.”