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Partisanship Rears Its Head In The FEC09:17
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, speaks during a news conference as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, left, and Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick listen on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in Albany, N.Y. Cuomo has established a powerful investigative body to examine the state Board of Elections and potential wrongdoing by legislators in campaign fundraising. (AP/Mike Groll)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, speaks during a news conference as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, left, and Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick listen on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, in Albany, N.Y. Cuomo has established a powerful investigative body to examine the state Board of Elections and potential wrongdoing by legislators in campaign fundraising. (AP/Mike Groll)

In the recent Senate special election, we heard a lot from the candidates about bridging the divide, crossing the aisle, being bipartisan. Well, cynics may have scoffed at the rhetoric, but perhaps for good reason.The partisan dysfunction in Washington may run so deep, it's even undermining a group that was once considered a bipartisan watchdog of political excess — the Federal Election Commission.

Guest

Christopher Rowland, Washington bureau chief for The Boston Globe.

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The Boston Globe, "The FEC has often been the subject of criticism since its founding four decades ago. But the impression of weakness has escalated dramatically, as Republicans named to the panel in 2008, united in the belief that the commission had been guilty of regulatory overreach, have moved to soften enforcement, block new rules, and limit oversight. In essence, according to critics, the FEC has been rendered toothless, and at the worst possible time, when powerful special interests are freer than they have been in decades to exert financial influence on Washington politicians."

This segment aired on July 8, 2013.

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