The FEC is responsible for implementing and enforcing what are by definition some of the most politically-sensitive rules and regulations available to be implemented and enforced. Because of that, it is the only one that maintains an even-steven party-affiliation presence, and further because of that, it is likely the most ineffective agency in Washington.
According to Politico, a number of watchdogs are hoping that President Barack Obama will take advantage of a number of expiring commissionership terms to fill the agency with fair-minded individuals who will follow the law and weigh the matters that come before them on the merits rather than on which party stands to win or lose.
The watchdogs have also been pushing for congressional hearings on the matter, with no luck. The politicians who would be regulated and possibly disciplined by a functional FEC seem to see no reason to subject themselves to any effective oversight.
Politico says that the watchdogs include Americans for Campaign Reform, Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Democracy 21, League of Women Voters, Public Campaign, Public Citizen and U.S. PIRG.
The author of the Politico article, Craig Holman, lays responsibility for the current FEC stalemate on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who Holman notes is a long-time opponent of campaign finance law and has been putting like-minded individuals on the FEC to prevent the four voted needed to approve anything there from ever being cast.
RBR-TVBR observation: There probably was a time where this agency functioned more effectively, but it certainly hasn’t during the last ten years at the very least. Perhaps it should be filled with non-partisan referees, but how do you find them, and how do you get the politicians who would need to set up such a body to do it in the first place?