Brad Smith Discusses Future of FEC Tomorrow at GW

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Center for Competitive Politics (CCP) founder and chairman Brad Smith, a former Chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), will be in Washington, D.C., tomorrow, Tuesday, April 30, at the George Washington University at 12:15 pm to discuss the future of the FEC (watch event live here). The discussion will be moderated by Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Bill McGinley of Patton Boggs, and will begin at 12:15 pm in the school’s Jacob Burns Moot Court Room, 2000 H Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20052.

The FEC is unfairly derided as the most dysfunctional agency in the Federal government and, as of April 30, 2013, it will have one vacancy and the terms of the remaining five Commissioners will have expired. Smith will join other experts — including Richard Briffault, Columbia Law School; Laurence Gold, Trister, Ross, Schadler & Gold; Lawrence Noble, Americans for Campaign Reform; and Scott Thomas, Dickstein Shapiro — in discussing how the FEC might be improved through education, enforcement, and compliance.

Also joining Smith will be attorney Eric Wang of Americans for Prosperity. Wang, a senior fellow with CCP, has, like Smith, been vocal of late about the role of the FEC as the appropriate body to decide campaign finance cases even as the Securities and Exchange Commission considers taking on some of that responsibility. For his part, Smith, in comments filed as part of Senate Hearing this month regarding campaign finance enforcement, wrote the following:

As part of the 1974 Amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act, Congress created the Federal Election Commission and provided it with “exclusive jurisdiction with respect to the civil enforcement” of the Act. Almost from the start, the Reform Community has been deeply disappointed with the Federal Election Commission, and from cynicism or honest belief has blamed the agency for many of the failures of regulation. But understanding the FEC and its design is important to understanding the problems of using another agency designed for one thing – say, the smooth functioning of securities markets, regulation of broadcasting, or tax collection – for another purpose, such as regulation of campaign spending.

To schedule an interview with Brad or Eric, please contact CCP Communications Director Sarah Lee at 770.598.7961.

 

The Center for Competitive Politics promotes and defends the First Amendment’s protection of the political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. It is the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights.

The Center for Competitive Politics is now the Institute for Free Speech.