OK, let's walk through. As you no doubt remember, the Federal Election Commission was deadlocked for six months - just in time for the primaries! - because the Democrats objected to one of its proposed new members being appointed. It eventually got resolved when said member withdrew his name. Well, the GOP can't win every fight in Congress; we are technically in the minority in both Houses there, after all.
Now, one of the new FEC commissioners (Caroline Hunter) was on the Electoral Assistance Commission. For those wondering, EAC does very unsexy, but fairly important, work in certifying the election process. It got started thanks to the Help America Vote Act, which got enacted thanks to the 2000 election - yes, I thought that would get your attention - so the commissioners for it are kind of important themselves. Balanced 2-2 Democratic/GOP, just so that everybody can watch everybody else. But there's a vacancy on that Commission now, so the President nominated Gineen Bresso Beach, Counsel to the House Committee on House Administration, (translation: she's qualified) to take Ms. Hunter's place.
That was at the end of July. Since then, as Brad Smith notes:
Now it appears that Senate Rules Committee Chair Diane Feinstein (D-CA) will not have a hearing or call a vote to move Beach's nomination to the Senate floor. The Senate meets for just two and a half more weeks, and after cancelling this week's hearing, no more hearings of any kind are scheduled for the Rules Committee. This means that entering the last two months of the campaign, Democrats will have a 2-1 majority on the EAC, which is intended to be balanced 2-2. We are unaware of any objection voiced to Beach. It seems the is just too darned busy to address the issue.
Far be it from me to suggest that Senators Feinstein, Obama, and Reid (and the rest of the Democratic Party) have a vested interest in making sure that they win any pesky little partisan questions about voter certification issues in the next few months. Oh, no: I wouldn't think of it. I'm going to state outright that Senators Feinstein, Obama, and Reid (and the rest of the Democratic Party) have a vested interest in making sure that they win any pesky little partisan questions about voter certification issues in the next few months. That's why there's an even number of seats on the commission in the first place: the idea is to block any obvious political games that either side might find tempting to play.
But no doubt someone on the staff of...
Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954
TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501
...will be happy to explain to anyone who asks why this is all just an unfortunate scheduling error that is swiftly being addressed.