It's no secret that the Biden Administration and Democrat members of Congress are trying to radically change the Federal Election Commission and campaign finance law through the so-called "For the People Act" (see prior blogs here, here, and here), but the Biden Administration is making plans to change the dynamic of the FEC in the likely event that the legislation doesn't pass the Senate. In a memo obtained by Axios, the Biden Administration lays out its plan to sidestep Republican input on nominees to the body and make the FEC more "pro-enforcement."Read more
With H.R. 1 scheduled to come to the House floor the first week of March, it is important to revisit just how destructive this legislation, first introduced during the 116th Congress, would be for the U.S. election system. The Committee on House Administration Republicans have exposed H.R. 1 for what it is — "a partisan and massive congressional overreach designed to keep their Democrat majority by nationalizing our elections."Read more
Earlier today, 9 former FEC Commissioners (including RNLA Board of Governors members Lee Goodman, Matthew Petersen, and Michael Toner) wrote to congressional leadership to express their concerns with Titles IV and VI of Division B of this Congress' version of the "For the People Act" (H.R. 1 and S. 1 respectively). These sections of the nearly 800-page bill dealing with the FEC directly and campaign finance would, as the former Commissioners put it, "complicate the law and hinder grassroots political speech and activism, with little or no benefit to public accountability, transparency, understanding of public policy, or reduction in corruption."Read more
Without a quorum of four commissioners, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) cannot take many official actions, which require the affirmative votes of at least four commissioners. These include taking actions in litigation, finding that a violation of the law occurred in response to a complaint, and defending the FEC's position in court. The lack of a quorum has not stopped so-called campaign finance reform groups from using the complaint and litigation process to attempt to change campaign finance law through the courts. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a motion for default judgment against the FEC, when the FEC is not legally permitted to defend itself in court at the moment. Republican Commissioner Caroline Hunter responded:Read more
Since Republican Commissioner Matthew Petersen resigned in August, the Federal Election Commission has only had three commissioners and lacked the four commissioners necessary for it to approve agency actions. Never missing an opportunity to make a political point while ignoring the facts, the left has continued criticizing Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the lack of a quorum at the FEC (for example).
This is one of the worst lies of the left. This is 100% the Democrats' fault and a part of their war on free speech and democracy.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
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
The Republican National Lawyers Association (RNLA) thanks Federal Election Commission (FEC) Commissioner Matthew Petersen for his years of public service on the FEC. Commissioner Petersen announced today that he would leave the FEC effective August 31.Read more
As we have chronicled, Democratic FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub has used her position to attack President Trump (along with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, other Republicans, and supporters of free speech) in a variety of ways, including through the altFEC Twitter account operated by her staff and writing a letter to President Trump on FEC letterhead questioning his claims about voter fraud in New Hampshire and asking him to produce evidence. At the request of the Cause of Action Institute, headed by RNLA member John Vecchione, the FEC Inspector General inquired as to whether Commissioner Weintraub had violated any ethical standards with her letter or not. Unfortunately, it concluded she had not.Read more