The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is the independent regulatory agency charged with administering and enforcing the federal campaign finance law. The FEC was founded in 1975 and has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, Senate, Presidency and the Vice Presidency.
In March 2000, two seats open up on the FEC. It becomes the spark that unleashes President Bartlet's true intent with his presidency, leading the Bartlet Administration to nominate John Bacon (R) and Patty Calhoun (D) to the Commission.
Commissioners are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. By law, no more than three Commissioners can represent the same political party, and at least four votes are required for any official Commission action. This structure was created to encourage nonpartisan decisions.
Commissioners serve in staggered six-year terms; two seats are subject to appointment every two years. The Chair of the Commission changes every year, with no member serving more than once per term. The Commission meets in closed sessions to discuss matters that, by law, must remain confidential, and in public to formulate policy and vote on legal and administrative matters.