FEC shoots down Dem commissioner’s proposal to muzzle conservative media

FEC shoots down Dem commissioner’s proposal to muzzle conservative media
Democratic FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub. (Image: Screen grab of CNN video, YouTube)

[Ed. – Good news, although till a bit tepid and waffly.  The FEC ought to affirm in principle that it is virtually impossible to demonstrate that “foreign activities” are having some sort of actionable effect on American discourse, such that the FEC needs to be involved — by looking at the content of media products.  That such a proposal can even come up is, rather, evidence that it would be better to dispense with the commission in the first place.]

The FEC has declined to consider new rulemaking over alleged foreign influence in the 2016 presidential election that could target conservative media including InfoWars and Breitbart News. In a statement released by Vice Chair Caroline Hunter and Commissioners Lee Goodman and Matthew Petersen, the members state they “cannot support proposals that would burden the free speech rights of American citizens based on incomplete information about foreign activities in the 2016  election.”

They further describe Weintraub’s proposal as one that would “‘blunt’ the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United.” In the opinion of three members who wrote the statement, there is no information currently showing that the FEC’s existing rules that prohibit foreign involvement in U.S. elections are “inadequate to detect, enforce, and punish violations.”

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