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News Releases


For Immediate Release                                                                                Contact:  George Smaragdis
March 14, 2007                                                                                                          Michelle Ryan


The Federal Election Commission expresses its gratitude to former FEC Chairman Michael E. Toner, who left the agency today to join the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP. Commissioner Toner, who joined the Commission in 2002, served as FEC Chairman last year.

During his tenure at the FEC, Commissioner Toner was instrumental in creating more efficient and responsive agency policies. As FEC Chairman in 2006, Commissioner Toner led the Commission through an ambitious rulemaking agenda, promulgating regulations in response to the Shays v. FEC litigation, in addition to an extensive slate of other rules and advisory opinions. One significant innovation under his leadership was the development of an expedited process for the consideration of qualifying advisory opinion requests, representing a departure from the Commission’s long-standing practice of waiting to approve advisory opinions at regularly scheduled Commission meetings.

As Chairman, Commissioner Toner also presided over the agency as it streamlined and improved its enforcement program. During his Chairmanship, the agency collected civil penalties of more than $6.2 million – more than doubling the total amount of penalties of any other single year in the agency’s 31-year history—and also assessed the largest single civil penalty in its history.

Noting that Commissioner Toner was well known for his ability to build consensus among members of the Commission, current FEC Chairman Robert D. Lenhard expressed his deep appreciation for Commissioner Toner’s service. “It has been a pleasure to serve with Michael Toner.  He spearheaded new initiatives that have made the FEC a more effective, efficient and responsive agency.  He created a collegial atmosphere which enabled us to achieve far more than many thought possible.”

Prior to joining the FEC, Mr. Toner served as Chief Counsel of the Republican National Committee after serving as General Counsel of the Bush-Cheney Transition Team in Washington, DC, and the Bush-Cheney 2000 Presidential Campaign in Austin, TX. He has written widely on campaign finance matters and is a contributing author in the recent book Divided States of America: The Slash and Burn Politics of the 2004 Presidential Election (edited by Professor Larry J. Sabato, University of Virginia Center for Politics).

Commissioner Toner was appointed to the Federal Election Commission by President Bush on March 29, 2002, and sworn in on April 1, 2002, for a term set to expire April 30, 2007. By law, members of the Federal Election Commission nominated after 1997 may serve one six-year term, with the terms of two Commissioners expiring every two years. They may continue to serve after the expiration of their terms until a replacement is appointed.