Republicans want elections to be open, fair and honest. Democrats see politics as an issue to incite their base. When House Republicans had control of Congress in 2017-18 they made their top legislative priority tax reform for all Americans. In contrast, Democrats made protecting incumbent Democrat members of Congress their top legislative priority through trying to change election laws. Historically election reforms have passed on an bipartisan basis but the Democrats' HR 1 did not get a single Republican vote.
Now their narrative on election law is falling apart. Democrats have long bemoaned the role of money in politics. They have said that billionaires buy elections. Yet, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton despite being badly outspent. But that example pales in comparison to the recent Democrat primary. As the Wall Street Journal editorializes:
So much for the progressive meme about “buying elections.” Federal disclosures Monday finally revealed the full bill for Mike Bloomberg’s Democratic primary bid: more than $1 billion, for hardly three months of official campaigning. For comparison, that’s more than either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton spent during the whole of the 2016 race.Read more
A story that has not attracted the attention it should is Mike Bloomberg’s $18 million donation to the DNC. No one should forget that the DNC changed its rules to allow the late-starting Mike Bloomberg on to the debate stage. As another Democrat candidate, Andrew Yang, tweeted back on January 31.
The DNC changing its debate criteria to ignore grassroots donations seems tailor-made to get Mike Bloomberg on the debate stage in February. Having Americans willing to invest in your campaign is a key sign of a successful campaign. The people will win out in the end.— Andrew Yang🧢 (@AndrewYang) February 1, 2020
Recently, we marked the ten year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010). We continue to hear a lot about this decision in the mainstream media, with some Democratic candidates describing it as a threat to American democracy, launching attacks on any candidate - liberal, socialist or otherwise - that will take money or support from political action committees (PACS) of any kind.Read more
Democrats often seem to cite certain events as the world is going to end if, or when, they happen -- whether it was Al Gore’s climate disaster by 2016 or the end of the internet when FEC Chair Ajit Pai ended net neutrality. This week another anniversary of one of those doomsday events occurred, the tenth anniversary of Citizens United v. FEC which was decided on January 21, 2010. As Cato scholar Ilya Shapiro wrote on the fifth anniversary:
President Obama’s famous statement during his 2010 State of the Union Address: “The Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates of special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.”
In that one sentence, the former law professor made four errors that are all too common.Read more
Apparently three out of four members of the "Squad" are now facing serious allegations of campaign finance violations and abuse. According to Wikipedia: “the Squad is a group of four congresswomen elected in the 2018 United States House of Representatives elections, made up of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All are women of color under 50.” Apparently besides their hatred of President Trump, they also share an alleged disregard for campaign finance law. First on AOC, arguably the most famous of the three:
Ocasio-Cortez’s political rise in 2018 was made possible in large part to Justice Democrats PAC, an outside political action committee that recruited her to enter politics in 2017 and provided much of her campaign’s staffing and overhead needs in the lead-up to her June 2018 primary victory over former Rep. Joe Crowley. . . .
Ocasio-Cortez and her former campaign chair Saikat Chakrabarti were appointed to hold two of the PAC’s three board seats in December 2017, but the Federal Election Commission was never notified of the affiliation between her campaign and Justice Democrats.Read more
The sole Republican on the Federal Election Commission, Caroline Hunter, published an op-ed in Politico today describing how her colleague Ellen Weintraub's attacks on President Trump and frequent tweets and media appearances are undermining the public perception, independence, and impartiality of the FEC:Read more
SHIELD Act Would Regulate Americans' Political Speech Instead of Preventing Foreign Election Interference
Yesterday, the Committee on House Administration marked up the SHIELD Act (H.R. 4617, Stopping Harmful Interference in Elections for a Lasting Democracy Act). The SHIELD Act contains the provisions of the Honest Ads Act, plus additional dangerous provisions.
If passed, it would likely have very little effect on foreign efforts to influence or interfere with U.S. elections. Instead, it would regulate Americans seeking to exercise their First Amendment rights, with the effect of restricting political speech.
The RNLA sent a letter to the House opposing the SHIELD Act:Read more
While Democrats and liberal pundits would have us believe otherwise, there was no violation of campaign finance laws in President Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian President. Like so much in the campaign finance realm, Democrats are attempting to apply an interpretation of the law against foreign campaign contributions as they wish it were, instead of the law as written or how it has been interpreted to date.Read more
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has jurisdiction to issue regulations and enforce federal campaign finance laws; in other words, to interpret and enforce the regulation of Americans' political speech, which is protected by the First Amendment.
For years, Democrats have attempted to expand regulation of political speech through onerous disclaimer, disclosure, and reporting requirements; low contribution limits; making the FEC a partisan body controlled by the President's party (such as in H.R. 1 and the perennial DISCLOSE Act); outright speech prohibitions; and even through spending limits (which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional back in Buckley v. Valeo).
With the resignation of Republican FEC Commissioner Matt Petersen, the FEC is back in the news.Read more