Tags: democrats | fec | restrictions | campaign | finance

Two Dems at FEC Call For Tighter Campaign Finance Restrictions

By    |   Monday, 08 June 2015 05:48 PM

Two members of the Federal Election Commission filed a petition Monday urging the agency to regulate campaign donations ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

According to USA Today, two Democrats on the six-member commission — chairwoman Ann Ravel and commissioner Ellen Weintraub — would like the independent agency to up its enforcement of federal election laws.

Ravel, who last month called the FEC "worse than dysfunctional," wants the agency to pull the lid off anonymous donors flooding the elections market, among other things.

Said Weintraub in the USA Today story, "Desperate times call for desperate measures. The normal routes are not working, so we are willing to take unusual paths to fight the inaction."

The petition, reports USA Today, will spur public comments about the FEC's practices. That could help lift the cloak of secrecy on some of the anonymous donors who donate to candidates in every election cycle.

"While it's extremely difficult for the FEC to actually accomplish some of the tasks entrusted with us, the public will have an opportunity to raise their concerns about the campaign-finance system and disclosure," Ravel told USA Today.

In a separate interview with CNN, Ravel said other "avenues" need to be taken to repair the system.

"People will say: 'You're the chair of the commission. You should work from within.' I tried," Ravel said. "We needed to take more creative avenues to try and get public disclosure."

The actions listed on the petition are:

1. Ensure full public disclosure of corporate and labor organization independent spending, consistent with both the Citizens United decision and the Act's requirement that outside spending groups disclose their donors.

2. Clarify that the prohibition on foreign national campaign-related spending restricts such spending by U.S. corporations owned or controlled by a foreign national.

3. Clarify that corporations and labor organizations are prohibited from coercing their employees and members into providing financial or other support for the corporation's or labor organization’s independent political activities.

4. Ensure that the expenditures made by super PACs and other outside spending groups are truly independent of federal candidates as required by Citizens United and its progeny.

Some have taken issue with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has spent months "campaigning" for president before he actually joins the crowded field of Republicans. Along the way, he has raked in millions of campaign dollars through his Super PAC.

Bush is expected to officially announce his candidacy June 15.

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Two members of the Federal Election Commission filed a petition Monday urging the agency to regulate campaign donations ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
democrats, fec, restrictions, campaign, finance
Monday, 08 June 2015 05:48 PM
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