Message from FEC Chairman Lee E. Goodman
Happy New Year from the Federal Election Commission! The Commission anticipates an exciting and challenging year ahead, particularly with the 2014 mid-term elections fast approaching. As with every election cycle, the Commission endeavors to meet its responsibilities to the public by providing reliable access to campaign finance data, helpful resources for compliance, and clear regulations. The Commission strives to implement a regulatory process that is fair and protects the First Amendment rights of all citizens.
One of the Commission’s most important goals this year will be to improve our information technology and the transparency of campaign finance data on our website. We are working on enhancements to our website to present the campaign finance data we collect in more user-friendly formats. Our compliance division processes up to an average of 100,000 pages of reporting data per week. This year, the Commission will continue its efforts to bring this voluminous information to the public in a manner that is timely, readily accessible, and informative. As the amount of campaign finance filings increases, the Commission is committed to maximizing information available to the public on our website.
The Commission also remains fully committed to robust educational and outreach programs for campaigns, political committees, and others regulated under the Federal Election Campaign Act. Our first informational roundtable of the year will be held this month at FEC headquarters, as well as online, to help committees prepare for filing year-end reports. Additionally, the Commission is offering a two-day conference in February in Tampa, Florida designed specifically for House and Senate campaigns, political party committees, and corporate/trade/labor PACs. Throughout the year, the Commission will host one-day compliance seminars at the FEC. In addition to seminars, the Commission operates an information line, which you can call to obtain answers to compliance questions: 1-800-424-9530. For more difficult questions, you may always request an advisory opinion from the Commission, and we will endeavor to provide you a timely response.
I encourage you to take advantage of these seminars and compliance assistance services. Through these and other educational and compliance initiatives, the Commission seeks to facilitate your exercise of profound First Amendment rights by ensuring that our regulatory scheme does not unnecessarily deter citizens from democratic participation.
The Commission also is taking steps to modernize and clarify regulations and forms that committees find either non-intuitive or difficult to use. Additionally, the Commission will seek to bring FEC regulations into line with court rulings to more accurately reflect the current status of campaign finance laws. The Commission also will strive to make the enforcement process fair for all parties, as well as one that respects the due process rights of all citizens.
It is an honor and pleasure to serve as the FEC’s Chairman for the upcoming election year. I look forward to working with my fellow Commissioners and the dedicated staff of the FEC to achieve the Commission’s goals and improve the democratic process.
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