Obama to nominate two FEC commissioners

(Carolyn Kaster/AP) (Carolyn Kaster/AP)

President Obama is set to nominate two new picks for the six-seat Federal Elections Commission, which is down one member and operating with five commissioners who are serving expired terms.

Obama has chosen Washington attorney Lee E. Goodman and Ann Ravel, who chairs a California commission similar to the FEC, according to a statement from the White House on Friday.

The terms for the five existing commissioners have expired, but members of the panel can serve until their replacements are confirmed. One seat has been vacant since February, when former commissioner Cynthia Bauerly resigned after her term expired.

During his tenure in the White House, Obama has nominated only one commissioner to the FEC. That solo appointee, chosen in 2010, withdrew from consideration during a contentious confirmation process.

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, known as CREW, applauded the president on Friday for his decision to nominate two commissioners.

“Moving to fill these two seats is one step forward in bolstering the FEC — widely considered to be the most dysfunctional agency in Washington,” said CREW executive director Melanie Sloan. “It is critical that the White House act expeditiously in submitting nominees to fill the remaining four positions.”

Sloan added that her group has followed Ravel’s work and was “thrilled” by the news of her pending nomination. She said CREW hopes that Goodman will be “more committed to enforcing campaign finance laws than his predecessor, Don McGahn.”

In addition to McGahn, the existing commissioners include chairman Ellen L. Weintraub, Caroline C. Hunter, Steven T. Walther, and Matthew S. Peterson.

To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, friend his Facebook page or e-mail josh.hicks@washpost.comFor more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.

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