Frederick Herrmann, executive director of the state Election Law Enforcement Commission, says the Fair and Clean Elections program enables his staff and him to decide whether a candidate participating in the clean elections program may receive rescue funds to combat a third party action.
His day-to-day operating decisions are reviewable by the four-member commission, which is currently composed of three commissoners – two Democrats and one Republican – since the other Republican resigned in September to assume another government position.
"The commissioners have absolute authority," said Hermann, "but they're not here every day. We are."
Hermann, who has been in the ELEC office for 23 years, says state election law requires the state commission to be bipartisan.
Asked why there is lopsided representation on the commission at present, Hermann said that is a question for the governor's office.
"We've never done this before," Hermann said of Fair and Clean Elections. "This is the first time we've had to respond to a request for rescue funds."