Tuesday, May 26, 2009

CQ Politics | FEC Pick Raises Eyebrows

CQ Politics FEC Pick Raises Eyebrows

President Obama continues to pack the ranks of his administration with people associated with organized labor, and particularly from the SEIU.

This time the pick is John Sullivan who was appointed to the Federal Election Commission.

From CQ Politics:

Sullivan has been associate general counsel of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and as such he’s questioned the need for disclosure rules on advertisements aimed at influencing voters. His stance, Hebert contends, was “so radical that not even the most visible, well-known opponents of campaign finance restrictions supported it.”

In 2006, Sullivan filed comments with the FEC questioning rules on coordinated communications between candidates and outside groups, such as unions.

Some critics of the 2002 campaign finance law, in fact, seem more enthused about Sullivan’s appointment. “Sullivan’s litigation on behalf of the SEIU and other organizations makes us optimistic that he understands how campaign finance restrictions” in the law “threaten Americans’ political free speech rights,” says Bradley A. Smith, a former FEC commissioner who founded the Center for Competitive Politics to try to lift restrictions on campaign

The White House, meanwhile, thinks criticism of Sullivan is ill-founded.
“He has devoted his professional life to understanding the mechanics of voting and ensuring that elections are free, fair and open,” says spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield. And one group that advocates public financing of elections, Public Campaign, praised the appointment earlier this month, noting that Sullivan had pushed the SEIU to endorse public financing.

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