We’ve Got an FEC

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The longstanding vacancies at the FEC have finally been filled. Last night, the Senate confirmed five commissioners to join the only sitting commissioner, Ellen Weintraub. The panel, composed of three Democrats and three Republicans as per the usual, will finally have the quorum it needs to address issues like this and this, and deal with the DNC’s newly filed lawsuit challenging John McCain’s withdrawal from the primary election matching funds program.

Don’t expect the new FEC to usher in an era of reform. Good government groups have long criticized the FEC for being a collection of party loyalists more prone to gridlock and slaps on the wrist than to firm and effective oversight. That said, a weak FEC is better than no FEC, particularly during an election year. So, happy day.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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