September 24, 2013

FPPC's Ravel confirmed to Federal Election Commission

Ann Ravel receives unanimous support to serve on federal board

Ann Ravel, chair of the state’s ethics watchdog, has received unanimous confirmation to serve on the Federal Election Commission.

The U.S. Senate voted Monday to confirm Ravel, a Democrat, and Lee Goodman, a Republican, giving the six-member panel its first new commissioners since President Barack Obama took office.

Ravel said she is “honored,” yet committed to stay in her current job for at least another month, in part to wrap up tasks involving the website and campaign finance filing issues.

Her departure from the Fair Political Practices Commission would clear the way for Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint the agency's second chair of his third term.

Ravel has received a fresh wave of attention after delivering on a promise to focus on major offenses rather than targeting less-significant transgressions. Last week, the FPPC settled with a trio of consultants who agreed they should have registered as lobbyists.

The 64-year-old Los Gatos resident also has pursued cases more quickly, particularly on the eve of elections. Last fall, she sued to unmask the source of an $11 million donation from an unknown Arizona group to oppose Brown's Proposition 30 tax-hike measure and support Proposition 32, aimed at labor unions.

Ravel worked as a U.S. Justice Department official in Washington when Brown appointed her chair three years ago. The Federal Election Commission has come under criticism for being ineffective. The commission – composed of three Republicans and three Democrats – administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act.

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