Democratic FEC Nominee Withdraws; Reid Blasts White House

Posted April 14, 2008 at 11:57am

Federal Election Commission nominee Robert Lenhard, a Democratic pick, has asked the White House to withdraw his nomination, according to a letter sent Monday by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Lenhard’s request was revealed in a letter sent Monday from Reid to White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten. In it, the Majority Leader expressed frustrations with the “complete unwillingness among Republicans to constitute a functional FEC.”

Reid also said that Lenhard’s decision to remove himself from consideration likely will delay the return of a functioning FEC. The agency, which remains two commissioners shy of a quorum, is currently hamstrung from issuing an important ruling involving presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and public financing.

“This development now makes a resolution of this conflict more difficult because I have lost an exceptional leader for the FEC who will need to be replaced,” Reid wrote. “That will necessitate a search for a new Democratic nominee and a new nomination process. That process typically takes at least several months.”

— Matthew Murray