22 December 2007

The FEC is in Limbo

As Primaries Begin, the FEC Will Shut Down

So the gist of it is that there are supposed to be six people on the FEC's panel, with a vote of four to get anything done. When the year ends, three recess appointments will run out and the board will be left with only two people. There are supposed to be three from each party, but things are held up.

The potential for an FEC shutdown has been looming for weeks, as a handful of Democratic senators voiced opposition to one of Bush's nominees to the commission, Hans A. von Spakovsky. Their concern stemmed not from von Spakovsky's work on the FEC but from his tenure in the Justice Department's civil rights division.

His critics contend that von Spakovsky advocated a controversial Texas redistricting plan and fought to institute a requirement in Georgia that voters show photo identification before being permitted to cast ballots.

In return the Republicans are holding up the Democrats two nominees.

I wish I could get impassioned about this. The FEC is an important body that keeps track of the money that the campaigns get and spend. I understand the opposition to von Spakovsky; I come from a state with same day registration and I think that should be the way to do things, so this guy seems downright backwards.

But it all seems so many layers removed from hunger, homelessness, our civil liberties and international diplomacy that its hard to get worked up about it.

Bureaucracy is like an opiate. It dulls my response and makes me sleepy. And this sort of bickering makes me roll my eyes. Part of me wishes it didn't; the devil is in the details and there is so much detail at this level. At the same time I know if I cared too much I would burn out. You can only maintain that level of focus for so long.

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