Embattled FEC Nominee Withdraws

Posted May 16, 2008 at 4:17pm

Controversial Federal Election Commission nominee Hans von Spakovsky has withdrawn his bid for a full term on the commission, the White House confirmed late Friday.

The former Justice Department lawyer’s nomination has been the linchpin in a longstanding Senate stalemate that shuttered the elections regulator Jan. 1.

“Today, President Bush reluctantly accepted Hans von Spakovsky’s request for his nomination to serve on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to be withdrawn,” White House spokeswoman Emily Lawrimore said in a statement.

“While serving for two years on the FEC, Mr. von Spakovsky was an excellent commissioner who worked hard to effectively administer and enforce America’s federal election laws. His work clearly demonstrated his commitment to increasing transparency and accountability from all who participate in the election process. During Mr. von Spakovsky’s tenure at the commission, the FEC conducted the most vigorous enforcement program in the agency’s history. It is unfortunate that he will not be able to continue to contribute to the FEC’s record of accomplishment.

“Although Mr. von Spakovsky’s good faith legal positions have been vindicated (Crawford v. Marion County Election Board), Senate Democrats repeatedly refused to consider the facts surrounding his record. Instead, Senate Democrats put partisanship ahead of a fully functioning, bipartisan FEC.President Bush is disappointed that partisan politics will prevent this good man from continuing to serve our country.

“The President greatly appreciates Mr. von Spakovsky’s service and his commitment to ensuring fair elections in our country. He wishes Mr. von Spakovsky and his family all the best.

“As the 2008 election continues, it is more important than ever that we have a fully functioning FEC. We will work to swiftly nominate another highly qualified individual to serve in this important position.”

— Matthew Murray