The Lonely Centrist

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

New FEC Commissioner?

According to the Washington Post's Al Kamen (who tends to be right in these things), Congressional Democrats have settled on Cyndi Bauerly as the next Federal Election Commissioner, replacing Ellen Weintraub, who has been serving as "acting" Commissioner since her term expired in April of this year.

I've never heard of Cyndi Bauerly before, but it turns out she is Legislative Director to Senator Chuck Schumer, whom not long ago was hit with over $250,000 in fines and penalties by the FEC for violating campaign finance laws. Beyond that, there's not much out there on Bauerly, beyond the fact that she was active in feminist and multi-cultural issues while in law school at Indiana University (scroll down to "From the Dean"). There she was "co-chair the Teachable Moments Committee of the Commission on Multicultural Understanding," no doubt known to her friends as the "TMCCMU." According to the bio in National Journal on Congressional aides, Bauerly is a 36 year old from St. Cloud, Minnesota.
Early in her career, she
clerked for judges at a federal court in California and the
Indiana Supreme Court. Then Bauerly headed to Washington, where
she worked on appellate litigation for Jones Day and then spent
two years as Schumer's counsel on the Senate Judiciary
Committee. She helped him in his effort to force cellular
companies to make phone numbers portable, and Schumer's
legislation persuaded the industry to adopt new standard
practices. Bauerly took a yearlong hiatus to work on
intellectual-property cases for the Minneapolis law firm of
Fredrikson & Byron, and then returned to Schumer's staff in

We find nothing indicating that Bauerly has the slightest familiarity with campaign finance laws, but suspect that in fact, she probably has exactly that - the slightest familiarity with the law.
Schumer, for his part, has historically been a big backer of campaign finance regulation, including public financing, but not only has he had his own problems, as noted above, but his support is sometimes fickle, that is, determined, it appears, by partisan concerns.

Well, isn't this grand? It appears that the Democrats have decided to put knowledge of the law in the backseat, and appointed someone whom, from what little we can tell, is likely to be both pro-regulation and highly partisan. I hope I am being unfair and judging Bauerly prematurely.

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