The chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission has a novel idea for reforming the turbulent agency she leads: Fire everyone – except for her. Ann Ravel, the Democratic head of the commission, pitched the plan during a recent conference. While calling for a host of campaign finance reforms – including more disclosure by political groups, easier online access to data – she urged changes as well for the “cop on the beat,” the FEC.
“Certainly Congress or the president could establish a blue ribbon commission to propose reforms at the FEC, including replacing holdover commissioners or which everybody is a holdover commissioner except me,” she said. Ravel then chuckled, and added: “So that’s not for personal reasons.”
The camaraderie on the FEC these days isn’t exactly tight. Members have clashed in the last several months over Ravel’s flirtation with Internet regulation and allegations of partisanship on both sides. But the suggestion – made during a forum hosted by The Brennan Center for Justice, the New York City Campaign Finance Board, and the Committee for Economic Development – that the rest of the commission be replaced would appear to mark a new level of disharmony.
As the chairwoman noted, the other five members – Democrats and Republicans, alike – are technically known as holdovers, meaning their initial terms have expired. Commissioners whose terms have expired are, under current policy, allowed to remain until they are replaced. Ravel’s terms doesn’t end until 2017.
Asked Friday about the remarks, Ravel’s office told FoxNews.com the chairwoman “does not actively make recommendations on any subject on my own behalf to Congress or the White House.” But they added, “The law has a term for a reason so that commissioners will be truly independent, and my view is we should adhere to the law.”