Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee on Senate’s confirmation of Trey Trainor to the FEC

Issue One Executive Director Meredith McGehee issued the following statement in the wake of the Senate’s confirmation of Texas attorney Trey Trainor to serve on the Federal Election Commission, which ends the longest period in the agency’s history without the quorum necessary for it to do its job — nearly nine months.

“We hope that Trey Trainor will faithfully uphold the anti-corruption laws on the books and work with his colleagues to swiftly resolve the backlog of complaints and advisory opinion requests before the FEC, despite the concerns raised about his qualifications during the confirmation process.

“However, the addition of one new commissioner to the FEC does not change the fact that there is still much work to be done to fix the watchdog tasked with safeguarding the integrity of campaigns. And this doesn’t mean that the commission will stop being gridlocked over the fundamental issue of whether our campaign finance laws should be enforced. Despite regaining a quorum, the FEC will likely stay hopelessly broken as an enforcer of our nation’s election laws.”

Background:

Without a quorum of at least four commissioners for the past 262 days, the FEC’s enforcement backlog has grown to more than 300 cases — including about three dozen that involve alleged illegal foreign interference in U.S. elections. 

Issue One previously highlighted five exchanges from Trainor’s confirmation hearing in March that illustrated how out of touch he is with the FEC and the major campaign finance issues facing the country.

And Issue One’s “Busted & Broke” report, published in April 2019, highlighted the FEC’s dysfunction and illustrated how the FEC lacks the budget, staff, and teeth it needs to enforce the country’s campaign finance laws.