Weintraub Corrupts and Politicizes FEC, Undermines Elections

In her seventeenth year of a six-year term on the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Commissioner Ellen Weintraub is showing her true partisan colors.  She is fanning the flames of distrust in government by misusing her government position to question the legitimacy of the 2016 presidential election (and all presidential elections before it), to troll the President, and to call for policing speech on the internet.  
Appearing over the weekend on All In with Chris Hayes on the liberal MSNBC, Weintraub joined the chorus of Democrats attacking the Electoral College, oddly by relying on foreigners' confusion over it:  

Appearing on MSNBC, she said that when she explains the U.S. system to foreign observers, they appear confused. Weintraub said she explains that typically a presidential candidate wins both the electoral and popular vote “and everyone’s happy.” . . .

“More recently that hasn’t been happening all the time,” she said on All In with Chris Hayes. “And I worry, that just like these other, where people from other countries were confused about it, that people in our own country will come to feel that the result is not legitimate.”

RNLA President David Warrington reacted to Weintraub's undermining of our system for electing the president:

“Seventeen years into a six year term, Ellen Weintraub has now decided that she knows better than the Founders and that the Electoral College undermines the legitimacy of American elections,” he said today in response to her MSNBC comments.

“If she wants to be a political activist, she should immediately resign and join the democratic process rather than try to control it or remake it according to her own whims from her perch at the FEC,” he added.

Under the guise of preventing "fake news," Weintraub is hosting a symposium with media and tech companies this month. This resurrects concerns over the FEC policing speech, restrictions on online speech, and applying different standards to liberal and conservative speech. As summarized by RNLA Board of Governors member and former FEC Chair Lee Goodman:

“The FEC has no business policing the truth or accuracy of speech of any kind by American citizens on the internet,” said Lee Goodman, a former Republican FEC chairman. . . .

Goodman said he sees concerns in summoning tech giants to a FEC-endorsed speech seminar and warned about a double standard in policing liberal and conservative websites.

Recalling his fight on the issue, he said, “I concluded that conservative speakers and press would always be held to a double standard if government got to regulate them. Now the hook to get Drudge is something vaguely defined as ‘disinformation,’ however that might be defined. The FEC has no business regulating the internet or browbeating internet platforms to censor American citizens.”

Goodman, an election lawyer, said that investigating foreign fake news is a job for the FBI, not the FEC. “The FEC’s only role is prohibiting foreigners from spending money to influence American elections, and foreign propaganda should be policed by the FBI and Department of Justice,” he said.

Rep. Rodney Davis, Ranking Member on the Committee on House Administration, sent the FEC an oversight letter last week to investigate and push back against the politicization of the FEC led by Commissioner Weintraub:

Recently, I believe this tone of partisanship has been amplified by some at the Commission.  While members of the Commission have long had principled disagreements over difficult legal questions impacting core First Amendment rights, partisan attacks only serve to undermine your work and the work of the entire Commission staff. Additionally, while some maintain the structure of the Commission needs to be changed to gain a political advantage, I stand firm in my position that the current structure continues to serve as a safeguard against infringement on the First Amendment, as was originally intended.

As Rep. Davis points out, instead of de-politicizing the FEC, Democrats wish to change the structure of the agency with jurisdiction over Americans' political speech into an overtly partisan body controlled by the President's party.  (Naturally, they have not been pushing this so-called reform during President Trump's tenure but now that they hope to re-gain the White House in 2020, it is back at the top of their priority list.)  But thanks to the leadership of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rep. Davis, and other Republicans in Congress, Commissioner Weintraub, Democrats, and their liberal allies will not be able to officially politicize the FEC in the near future.  But that does not stop them from trying to undermine our election systems, election results, free speech, and the FEC itself.