Young Voices Contributor
The FEC is bad. The House of Representatives isn't doing anything to make it better.
When it passed H.R. 1 by a vote of 234-193 on Monday, Congress attempted to address a laundry list of nationwide problems: rampant gerrymandering, voting rights, and the vulnerability of elections to foreign interference, among other concerns. But H.R. 1, billed as the "For the People Act," also takes a shot at reforming the Federal Election Commission (FEC). It fails.
The FEC isn't good at enforcing the nation's campaign finance laws, and, when it is does, it's often an entire election cycle after the given offense. As it is, candidates don't have much difficulty circumventing campaign finance laws, undermining the fairness of elections and opening the door to further corruption.
The FEC was created by the Federal Election Campaign Act following the Watergate scandal, as Congress sought a better way to police federal campaign laws and prevent future presidents from interfering with investigations as Nixon had. The FEC has six commissioners, and no more than three can be of the same party. Four votes are required for most actions taken by the agency, and that hasn't been an issue for most of its history. But since 2008, the frequency of 3-3 tie votes has increased dramatically. It's why the FEC is slow to investigate cases and even slower to prosecute offenses. Supporters of H.R. 1 complain, with good reason, that the FEC has become toothless. But H.R. 1's reforms introduce new and potentially volatile problems.
FEC's rampant dysfunction won't be fixed by H.R. 1— the bill doesn't get at what actually went wrong. Since its inception, the FEC has been able to operate without excessive gridlock, and, for the most part, it still does. At the height of FEC turmoil in 2014, the FEC only had a tied vote 14 percent of the time (historically, it has been closer to one to four percent of the time) on substantive matters, although many of these tie votes occur on matters that are particularly contentious. The greater problem afflicting the FEC is touched upon by NBC Washington's findings that the Republican and Democratic commissioners of the FEC almost always vote as blocs. At various times, both Republican and Democratic commissioners have put party interests ahead of their agency's responsibilities.
At various times, both Republican and Democratic commissioners have put party interests ahead of their agency's responsibilities.
H.R. 1's Democratic supporters instead believe the FEC's six-commissioner structure makes it dysfunctional. H.R. 1 introduces a new system of five commissioners —two from each party and one independent, eliminating tie votes. But that independent commissioner's de facto role as a tiebreaker would grant them far too much power. Save for Senate approval, there's nothing preventing a president from appointing an "independent" like Bernie Sanders or Angus King.
The bill's proponents are aware of this problem, creating a Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel that will help inform the president's decisions. But this panel has problems of its own. The Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel's decisions are non-binding and not public, a result of its exemption from the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which ensures the transparency of advisory committees. There are arguments against FACA's necessity, the panel's deliberate exemption from the law undermines the idea that its goal is to ensure non-partisanship. Instead, H.R. 1 will allow future presidents to tilt the scales of the FEC in their favor, a fate the post-Watergate creators of the FEC were so desperate to avoid they originally had members of Congress picking commissioners before the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. Apparently, the solution to excessive gridlock is one-party control.
H.R. 1 also seeks to grant unilateral powers to the Chair of the commission in the name of expediency, again giving leverage to the Chair's party, and allows the General Counsel to take actions independent of commission votes. While some of the FEC's problems, such as its notoriously slow pace and the delayed appointment of commissioners under Presidents Obama and Trump, might be solved with legislation, the consolidation of power in the hands of a few at the expense of the FEC's integrity is not a winning strategy.
The FEC is afflicted by the same problem that has afflicted governments for as long as they have existed – governments are made up of people, and people can be bad. The Founders, in their wisdom, sought to limit the harm bad actors could do once in power, and the FEC's current structure adheres to this principle. Currently, the consequences of bad actors in the FEC is dysfunction and frustration. But under H.R. 1's reforms, those consequences could be blatant corruption.
Michael Rieger is a contributor for Young Voices. Follow him on Twitter at @EagerRieger.
On Monday's radio program, Glenn Beck and Stu Burguiere discussed former Starbucks CEO and progressive Howard Schultz, a lifelong Democrat who has not only been disowned by the Democrat Party but he can no longer set foot inside of a Starbucks store because of his success in business.
In this clip, Stu explained how at one time Starbucks only sold coffee in bags until Schultz, an employee at the time, convinced the company to open a Starbucks cafe.
Click here to watch the full episode.
At one point, the owners came close to closing down the cafe, but Schultz eventually managed to purchase the company and transform it into the empire that it is today.
Stu continued, describing how Schultz, a lifelong Democrat, went on to implement liberal corporate policies that earned the company a reputation for being a "beacon" of liberalism across the country.
"And now he (Schultz) can't even get into the Democrat Party," Stu said."That is craziness," Glenn replied.
Citing a "60 Minutes" interview, Glenn highlighted the journey that Schultz traveled, which started in the New York City projects and evolved, later becoming the CEO of a coffee empire.
"This guy is so American, so everything in business that we want to be, he has taken his beliefs and made it into who he is which is very liberal," Glenn explained.
Catch more of the conversation in the video below.
This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
This weekend, March 17, Rep. Rashida Tlaib will be speaking at (Council on American Islamic Relations) CAIR-Michigan's 19th annual "Faith-Led, Justice Driven" banquet.
Who knows what to expect. But here are some excerpts from a speech she gave last month, at CAIR-Chicago's 15th annual banquet.
You know the speech is going to be good when it begins like this:
CAIR-Chicago 15th Annual Banquet: Rashida Tlaib youtu.be
It's important to remember CAIR's ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Think of CAIR as a spinoff of HAMAS, who its two founders originally worked for via a Hamas offshoot organization (the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP)).
A 2009 article in Politico says feds "designated CAIR a co-conspirator with the Holy Land Foundation, a group that was eventually convicted for financing terrorism."
The United Arab Emirates has designated CAIR a terrorist organization.
In 1993, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper told a reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.
In 1998, CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad said:
Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran … should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth.
Notice the slight underhanded jab at Israel. It's just one of many in her speech, and is indicative of the growing anti-Semitism among Democrats, especially Tlaib and Omar.
Most of the speech, as you might expect, is a long rant about the evil Donald Trump.
I wonder if she realizes that the Birth of Jesus pre-dates her religion, and her "country." The earliest founding of Palestine is 1988, so maybe she's a little confused.
Then there's this heartwarming story about advice she received from Congressman John Dingell:
When I was a state legislator, I came in to serve on a panel with him on immigration rights, and Congressman Dingell was sitting there and he had his cane, if you knew him, he always had this cane and he held it in front of him. And I was so tired, I had driven an hour and a half to the panel discussion at the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus. And I sit down, my hair is all messed up, and I said, 'Oh, my God, I'm so tired of this. I don't know how you've been doing it so long Congressman. They all lie.' And he looks at me and he goes. (She nods yes.) I said, 'You know who I'm talking about, these lobbyists, these special interest [groups], they're all lying to me.' … And he looks at me, and he goes, 'Young lady, there's a saying in India that if you stand still enough on a riverbank, you will watch your enemies float by dead.'
What the hell does that mean? That she wants to see her enemies dead? Who are her enemies? And how does that relate to her opening statement? How does it relate to the "oppression" her family faced at the hand of Israel?
Glenn Beck on Wednesday called out Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) for their blatantly anti-Semitic rhetoric, which has largely been excused by Democratic leadership. He noted the sharp contrast between the progressive principles the freshmen congresswomen claim to uphold and the anti-LGBTQ, anti-feminist, anti-Israel groups they align themselves with.
Later this month, both congresswomen are scheduled to speak at fundraisers for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a pro-Palestinian organization with ties to Islamic terror groups including Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State.
Rep. Tlaib will be speaking at CAIR-Michigan's 19th Annual Banquet on March 17 in Livonia, Michigan, alongside keynote speaker Omar Suleiman, a self-described student of Malcolm X with links to the Muslim Brotherhood. Suleiman has regularly espoused notably "un-progressive" ideas, such as "honor killings" for allegedly promiscuous women, mandatory Hijabs for women, death as a punishment for homosexuality, and men having the right to "sex slaves," Glenn explained.
Rep. Omar is the keynote speaker at a CAIR event on March 23 in Los Angeles and will be joined by Hassan Shibly, who claims Hezbollah and Hamas are not terrorist organizations, and Hussam Ayloush, who is known for referring to U.S. armed forces as radical terrorists.
Watch the clip below for more:
This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.