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Professor, alum earn top honor for collaborative research

April 06, 2009

Political science professor Todd Lochner and Rhett Tatum ‘06, along with fellow researcher and political scientist Dorie Apollonio, were recognized by the editorial board of Regulation & Governance for their joint article, Wheat from Chaff: Third Party Monitoring and FEC Enforcement Actions.

Regulation & Governance, a journal devoted to the study of regulation and governance by political scientists, lawyers, historians, anthropologists, and economists, named Wheat from Chaff the best article published in the 2007-2008 volumes of the journal.

In their article, Lochner, Apollonio, and Tatum test the widely held expectation that regulators can more effectively target serious violations when they have a broader array of sanctioning options in their enforcement arsenal.  To test this theoretical expectation, Lochner, Apollonio, and Tatum analyze enforcement actions at the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC) during the period when the FEC received an expansion in its sanctioning options.  What they find runs counter to expectations: the FEC was not better able to focus on the most serious violations after receiving a broader array of sanctions.  Lochner, Apollonio, and Tatum suggest that simply expanding sanctioning options, without also expanding monitoring resources, is not sufficient to enable regulators to prioritize their enforcement efforts toward the most serious problems.

Todd Lochner teaches undergraduate courses in constitutional law, civil liberties, and political science. He also teaches a joint undergraduate-law school course on election law at Lewis & Clark Law School, where he is a research fellow.  Rhett Tatum is currently a student at the Georgetown University Law Center where he is studying election law.

Read their winning paper.