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Politics stifles Federal Election Commission

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The Federal Election Commission wasn't always so dysfunctional. Despite a setup that fills its six commissioners' posts with three Republicans and three Democrats, it used to have little trouble conducting oversight and sanctioning dirty campaigns without ending up with the tie votes that have recently hamstrung the agency, leading to an anything-goes atmosphere for candidates and outside groups. In the four years ending in 2007, the FEC held 2,600 votes on enforcement actions and deadlocked on 1 percent of them. But in the four years since that time, the agency has managed to bring only 760 suspected cases of wrongdoing to votes and has deadlocked on more than 13 percent, according to data compiled and provided to The Washington Times by Public Citizen, which advocates for robust enforcement of campaign finance laws. When the commission is deadlocked, the result is the same as a "no"

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