Campaign spending reports are yet another victim in the government shutdown, with key reports delayed as a result of furloughed federal workers.
Like other federal services, staffers for the FEC website were dramatically reduced during the shutdown. At one point just four employees were reportedly working for the agency during the shutdown. Moreover, certain documents on the FEC website were not available for the public to access and clicking on parts of the website resulted in a dead link with a "not found" message instead. As of Friday morning, some reports on the site were still not available.
The shutdown spanned a period that included a quarterly filing deadline for congressional candidates and the last few days before the New Jersey special election, in which Cory Booker (D) emerged victorious on Wednesday. The FEC set filing deadlines for a number of special elections prior to the shutdown in Alabama (Nov. 5), Louisiana (Oct. 19), Massachusetts (Oct. 15), and New Jersey (Oct. 19).
When workers returned on Thursday, they waived a fine for late filers and has made staff available this week to help those filers submit their disclosures. The shutdown was especially ideal for donors who wanted to quietly inject money into a race with a special election during the shutdown without anyone knowing.
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