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
This past month, Democrat Representative Joaquin Castro released the names of Trump donors in San Antonio in a heated tweet claiming they are “fueling a campaign of hate.”
In natural form, the liberal mob immediately went on attack and began harassing these people.
It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Rep. Castro did not intend for the donors to be harassed. Why else would he publicly chastise them?Read more
Like many Democrat candidates running for President in 2020, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been an active proponent of campaign finance reform. According to OpenSecrets, "When he served as New York City’s public advocate in 2010, he penned an article in The Nation condemning Citizens United and called on state and local leaders across America to join him..."
And, like other 2020 Democrats, he doesn't think that the existing rules apply to him.Read more
House Democrats and their most loyal liberal allies are attempting in multiple different ways to effectively repeal the First Amendment. By taking away donor privacy and controlling how money is spent. The effort was their top priority as shown by the very symbolically numbered HR 1. As Real Clear Politics describes it:Read more