June 23, 2015

Boston Globe quotes Larry Norton on FEC’s delayed response in campaign finance violation case

1 min

Venable partner Larry Norton was quoted in a June 18, 2015 Boston Globe article on why it took the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) four years to conclude Representative Frank Guinta of New Hampshire violated campaign finance regulations. Last month, the FEC concluded that Representative Guinta violated campaign finance regulations by using his parents’ savings to fund his 2010 campaign. The FEC’s deliberations in the matter spanned three election cycles during which Representative Guinta won his seat, lost it and won it back again.

Norton said the FEC and its staff “lack leverage when a respondent drags," taking time to resolve matters. Still, he added, “I think that’s a long time to resolve any but the most complex matters or detailed investigations.” Norton noted that the FEC is sometimes reluctant to bring actions during an election cycle so as not to sway the electorate. “Their matters should be resolved as expeditiously as possible after that particular election,” he said. “This one obviously wasn’t…When this much time passes between the alleged conduct and the settlement, I think the public loses interest and isn’t likely to view it as very serious or important. Part of an effective justice system is timely justice. I think the system loses credibility.”