Back in late November, the FEC released a proposed policy statement (.pdf) that would grant basic due process rights to respondents before the Commission. At the time, CCP Chairman Brad Smith blogged about this modest proposal as well as the hysterical overreaction from the "reform" community that ensued. CCP has now submitted comments urging the Commission to adopt this proposal.
Few respondents have the resources to go to court, where they would be afforded the full panoply of due process protections, and over 99% of all cases before the FEC are adjudicated without going to court. For the vast majority of those unfortunate enough to be called before the FEC, the Commission offers their first and only opportunity to receive due process. Providing modest additional protection will improve the enforcement process, both by aiding the Commissioners in their decision-making and by enhancing the perception among respondents that they have been treated fairly.
We’ll continue to follow this issue and let our readers know what the Commission decides.