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Federal Election Commission is Deadlocked and can’t add new rules for Foreign-Influenced US Corporations and Anonymously Funded Political Organizations


From National Public Radio (NPR) today:

The four [Federal Election Commission–FEC] commissioners on Thursday deadlocked, again, on proposals to consider new rules, for example, for foreign-influenced U.S. corporations and for politically active entities that don’t disclose their donors.

“We have reason to think there are foreign actors who are looking for every single avenue to try and influence our elections,” said Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, a Democrat who offered two proposals for new regulations.

Both proposals failed on partisan 2-2 votes.

And from March 18:

The Federal Election Commission, better known for deadlocks than decisions, has unanimously agreed to take a first step against anonymous political advertising on the internet.  The proposed rule deals with disclaimers — the “authorized by” taglines that are mandatory in print, television and radio ads that explicitly support or attack candidates.

Although the FEC is acting after Russian trolls spread advertisements through social media during the 2016 presidential election, the proposed rule wouldn’t have touched most of those ads. Disclaimers are required only for “express advocacy” messages that attack or support candidates. The Russian ads were not that direct, and many focused on issues without mentioning the candidates.

(image courtesy of and creozavr)

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