This episode marks the start of the second season of Early Returns. We have been privileged to interview interesting guests and welcome a large and growing audience of listeners. We have discussed laws about foreign election interference, representation of the president during the Mueller investigation, the perspective of a journalist who covers legal affairs, biographies of notable politicians and jurists, the recent work of election lawyers, and more. Our very first guest was the chair of the Federal Election Commission (“FEC”), Alan Dickerson, who assumed office in the midst of COVID.
To start our second season, Early Returns is delighted to have the newly elected chair of the FEC, Dara Lindenbaum. The FEC consists of six commissioners, three Democrats and three Republicans. Each year the commissioners elect among themselves a chair and a vice chair who serve in those posts for one year. It takes the vote of four commissioners to take any major official action. The new chair has experience representing clients before state election agencies that are odd numbered and susceptible to partisan investigations and manipulation. The FEC even-numbered composition promotes bipartisanship.
Dara joins Jan to talk about what is going on at the commission today and its agenda for the next election. More specifically, she speaks about relationships in the FEC, its budget, and audit procedures and potential audit targets.
About Dara Lindenbaum
Dara Lindenbaum was nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President Joseph Biden on February 3, 2022, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 24, 2022.
Prior to her appointment, Lindenbaum was a partner at Sandler Reiff Lamb Rosenstein & Birkenstock, P.C. (Sandler Reiff), where she advised candidates, political committees, and organizations on a wide range of laws and regulations, including complying with state and federal campaign finance and election laws. She served as outside general counsel for several organizations and campaigns, working with directors, boards, and staff on general business matters, structuring their programs, and navigating the complex legal and compliance landscape.
Before joining Sandler Reiff, Lindenbaum was an associate counsel in the Voting Rights Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, where she focused on election law and voting rights.
Lindenbaum received her B.S. from Northeastern University and received her J.D. from the George Washington University Law School.