Monday, February 6, 2017

FEC handled debates challenge 'contrary to law' judge rules

Federal Judge Issues Blistering Ruling Against the FEC -

February 3, 2017 - "In blunt and highly critical language, a federal judge on Wednesday blasted the Federal Election Commission (FEC).... In her 28-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan said that, in rejecting a complaint by Level the Playing Field, a group seeking to change the rules for participation in the final fall debates, the FEC had acted in a manner that was 'contrary to law.'

"The FEC was the defendant in the case, but the real villain in the story is the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), a private organization that is dominated by Democratic and Republican party stalwarts.

"The CPD’s rules – mainly the 15% threshold late in the election cycle for admission — have effectively excluded independent candidates from participating in the September and October debates, thus denying them the chance to become president — even though polls clearly show Americans want that choice.

"The lawsuit by Level the Playing Field (LPF) provided evidence that the CPD’s board members, contrary to the law, were acting as partisans through donations, fundraisers, and public pronouncements. The suit also offered studies by experts that showed that it was practically impossible for independents to meet the threshold set by the CPD for inclusion in the debates....

"The FEC blithely dismissed challenges and recommendations by LPF, so the non-profit, founded by scholar-businessman Peter Ackerman, member of the executive committee of Atlantic Council’s board of directors and the former chairman of Freedom House, filed a lawsuit in September 2014. The suit was later joined by the Libertarian and Green parties....

"The judge concluded by ordering the FEC to 'reconsider the evidence and allegations and issue a new decision consistent with this Opinion within 30 days.' Otherwise, she wrote, the plaintiffs 'may bring…a civil action to remedy the violation involved in the original complaint.'

She also ordered the FEC to 'reconsider the Petition for Rulemaking' that the plaintiffs had requested and 'issue a new decision consistent with this Opinion within sixty days'....

"She blasted the FEC for its 'refusal to engage in thoughtful, reasoned decision-making in either enforcement or rulemaking in this case.' She called the FEC’s factual and legal analyses “threadbare,” and she said that ... in this case, 'the court cannot defer to the FEC’s analysis and further concludes that the FEC acted arbitrarily and capriciously and contrary to law when it determined that the CPD did not endorse, support, or oppose political parties in the 2012 election.'"

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1 comment:

  1. So, if they violated a law(s) why aren't they in jail, or facing large fines? What effect does this decision have, since the events the FEC and the CPD are accused of hijacking took place almost 5 months ago?? They can and will now blithely ignore it, and do the same god damn thing next time.