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RCB_20130917 FPPC CHAIR 0921_0121 (2).JPGAnn Ravel, chair of the state's ethics watchdog, today received unanimous confirmation to serve on the Federal Election Commission.

The U.S. Senate's vote to confirm Ravel, a Democrat, and Lee Goodman, a Republican, gives the six-member panel their first new commissioners since President Barack Obama took office.

Ellen L. Weintraub, chair of the Federal Election Commission, congratulated the pair in a tweet.

Ravel's departure from the FPPC would clear the way for Gov. Jerry Brown to appoint the agency's second chair of his third term.

As The Bee reported last weekend, the 64-year-old Los Gatos resident has received a fresh wave of attention after delivering on an early promise to focus on major offenses rather than targeting less-significant transgressions. Last week, the FPPC settled with a trio of consultants who agreed that they should have registered as lobbyists.

Ravel also has pursed cases more quickly, particularly on the eve of elections. Last fall, she sued to unmask the source of an $11 million donation from an unknown Arizona group to oppose Brown's Proposition 30 and support Proposition 32.

"If you don't have the ability and the gumption to actually enforce your laws that are significant and go to the heart of the trust prior to an election, then you might as well not be in business," Ravel said in an interview last week.

Ravel and Goodman were nominated by Obama in June.

Ravel worked as a U.S. Justice Department official in Washington when Brown appointed her chair three years ago. The Federal Election Commission -- three Democrats and three Republicans -- administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act.

FPPC Chair Ann Ravel gestures during an interview in her office last week. The Sacramento Bee / Renée C. Byer



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