Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Page 3


Nomination of Ex-JNE Chair to Federal Elections Commission Advances


By a MetNews Staff Writer



Chair, California Fair Political Practices Commission

The U.S. Senate’s Rules and Administration Committee yesterday gave its unanimous approval to President Obama’s nomination of Ann Ravel, to the Federal Elections Commission.

Ravel is the chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission and a former chair of the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation The FEC is a six-member body, divided equally between Democrats and Republicans, that enforces the Federal Election Campaigns Act.

“It’s nice that it was unanimous, that there weren’t any issues today,” Ravel was quoted as telling the Sacramento Bee, which reported the committee action on its Capitol Alert blog. “But who knows what’s going to happen once it gets to the floor, especially given all of the other issues swirling around.”

The FEC has been a contentious body, with a majority of its members holding over after their terms expired and intense disagreement between the Democratic and Republican commissioners over a number of matters, including a proposal by GOP members to make it more difficult for the commission to cooperate with the Justice Department in investigating allegations of FECA violations.

Ravel, 63, has headed the FPPC, which enforces the state’s campaign finance laws, since 2011. She served from 2009 to 2011 as deputy assistant U.S. attorney general, overseeing tort and consumer litigation in the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.

Before joining the DOJ, she spent 33 years in the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office, the last 11 as county counsel.

She was a member of the Judicial Council of California from 2002 to 2005, and served one full term plus two short appointed stints on the Board of Governors, in addition to her service on the JNE commission.

Ravel was named by the State Bar of California as the Public Attorney of the Year in 2007 for her contributions to public service. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Hastings College of the Law.

Ravel drew state and national headlines last year as the commission waged a legal battle to identify the source of an $11 million donation from a secretive Arizona group to a committee that opposed Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax measure and supported a failed effort to prohibit union dues from being spent on political campaigns without the approval of individual members.

Her term will expire April 30, 2017 if she is confirmed.

The committee yesterday also approved the nomination of Lee E. Goodman, a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of LeClairRyan, to the FEC. Goodman was an aide to Virginia’s then-governor, Republican Jim Gilmore, from 1999 to 2002, and also worked in the Virginia attorney general’s office and at the D.C. firm now known as Wiley Rein LLP before joining LeClairRyan in 2005.

He argued unsuccessfully before a federal appeals court that the statute banning direct corporate contributions to candidates is unconstitutional. Goodman’s term would expire April 30, 2015.


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