Terms Glossary

Good Party's Terms Glossary is a list of definitions of words from the political and elections world. These terms are from an independent's perspective with an eye toward reform. If you have a suggestion for a new definition, send it to ask@goodparty.org.

Federal Election Commission (FEC)

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent agency of the United States government that is responsible for enforcing federal campaign finance laws. It was created in 1974 in response to the Watergate scandal and is made up of six commissioners who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The FEC's main responsibilities include regulating the campaign finance activities of federal candidates, political parties, and other committees, as well as disclosing campaign finance information to the public. It also has the authority to investigate alleged violations of campaign finance laws and to impose penalties on those who break the rules.

However, the FEC has been criticized for being ineffective and partisan in its enforcement of campaign finance laws. Some critics argue that it is too lenient on major party candidates and too harsh on independent and third party candidates, who often face more scrutiny and penalties for minor infractions.

There have been calls for reforms to the FEC that would make it more transparent and accountable to the public. These could include measures such as increasing the number of commissioners, establishing stricter disclosure requirements, and giving the agency more enforcement power.

Reforms to the FEC are necessary to create a more fair and equitable electoral system. By holding all candidates and parties to the same standards and ensuring that campaign finance laws are enforced evenly, we can create a more representative democracy that works for everyone.