With New Commissioners, FEC Deadlocks on Bitcoins and Tea Party Opinions
Posted at 4:56 p.m. on Nov. 21, 2013
It didn’t take too long after two new Commissioners were sworn in for the Federal Election Commission to deadlock along party lines on two matters before it.
In October, two new Federal Election Commissioners were sworn in, a Democrat and a Republican. Their first meeting was on October 31st. Three weeks later, the Commission met on Thursday, November 21, and could not reach agreement on two matters relating to the use of bitcoins in campaigns, and granting a disclosure exemption to a tea party organization.
The Tea Party Leadership Fund had sought an advisory opinion granting them an exemption from the disclosure requirements based on a list of what it felt were threats, harassment, or reprisals from government officials or private parties. The three Democratic Commissioners had voted against the request, and two Republicans voted to grant the request. Republican Vice Chairman Lee Goodman recused himself. Opinions need four votes for approval.
The Conservative Action Fund had requested an advisory opinion to use bitcoins in campaigns and three Republican Commissioners voted for the request. The three Democrats voted against the request. A staff draft opinion with several specific caveats had suggested approval of the request. View earlier CQ Roll Call article on bitcoins.