FEC complaint accuses Clinton campaign, DNC of violating campaign finance law with dossier payments

Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee violated campaign finance law by failing to disclose payments for a dossier on Donald Trump, according to a complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission. The complaint from the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center said the Democrats effectively hid the payments from public scrutiny, contrary to the requirements of federal law. By law, campaign and party committees must disclose the reason money is spent and its recipient. “By filing misleading reports, the DNC and Clinton campaign undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures,” said Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation and strategy at CLC and a former FEC official. “Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money. The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action.” Media reports on Tuesday alleged that a lawyer for the Clinton campaign hired Fusion GPS to investigate Mr. Trump in April 2016. The private research firm reportedly hired Christopher Steele, a former British spy with ties to the FBI, to conduct the opposition research, and he compiled a dossier containing allegations about Mr. Trump’s connections to Russia. The Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the effort until the end of October 2016, just days before the election. “Questions about who paid for this dossier are the subject of intense public interest, and this is precisely the information that FEC reports are supposed to provide,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal and FEC reform at CLC. “Payments by a campaign or party committee to an opposition research firm are legal, as long as those payments are accurately disclosed. But describing payments for opposition research as ‘legal services’ is entirely misleading and subverts the reporting requirements.”

Democrat Sen. Kamala Harris Spends Big With Media Firm That Boosted Bernie Sanders’s National Profile

Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) has paid the online media firm that helped propel Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders during his dark horse run for the 2016 Democratic primary more than $400,000 this year, filings show. Revolution Messaging LLC, a Washington, D.C.-based progressive online media firm founded by Scott Goodstein, an online director for Obama for America in 2008, was instrumental in helping push Sanders’s message out and raise his profile during his race against Hillary Clinton by creating his digital and branding strategy. “In the spring of 2015, before the campaign launched, we knew Bernie Sanders was a leader who stood on the right side of history,” the group wrote in their case study. “But Bernie was polling around 3 percent, had no establishment support, little name recognition and was running against a popular and ‘inevitable’ Democratic primary opponent. We had our work cut out for us. With no offline fundraising team, no Super PAC, and no Wall Street money, we would have to raise almost all of the campaign’s money from small-dollar donations.” Revolution ultimately helped Sanders raise $218 million online and has won numerous awards for their work on behalf of his campaign. Harris, who is commonly floated as a potential candidate for president in 2020, paid the firm large sums of money for the likes of advertising despite not being up for reelection in her home state of California until 2022. Harris’s Senate campaign began paying Revolution Messaging in July 2016, Federal Election Commission records show. From July 7 to Election Day, the campaign paid the firm $381,632 for advertising and campaign consulting. From Election Day to the end of the year, an additional $122,000 in payments from Harris’s campaign were made to Revolution. “Kamala Harris’ U.S. Senate campaign knew it needed to use social media as a way to channel her authentic voice and connect with voters,” Revolution writes of their work on the campaign. “We were honored to partner with her campaign to turn around its anemic social media growth and transform its Facebook and Twitter accounts into a powerful bully pulpit.” “Inspired by effective methods from the Bernie Sanders campaign, our social media team knew that creativity, authenticity and timeliness were necessities,” they continue. “Halloween memes, story collections, petitions, and capitalizing on small, but timely moments helped distill Harris’ authentic voice and quickly double social media followers.” The large disbursements from Harris’ campaign to Revolution have continued this year. Kamala Harris reported spending nearly $300,000 on the firm’s services during the first quarter, which runs from Jan. 1 to March 31. A majority of this amount ($265,000) has gone towards web advertisements. Throughout the second quarter, which spans from April 1 to July 31, Harris’s campaign paid another $110,000 to Revolution with nearly $70,000 of this amount going to advertising. Harris’s campaign has spent a total of $407,530 with Revolution so far this year.

Clearly Sen. Harris (D-CA) is making a run for president…

FEC boss who tried to muzzle Drudge now on Soros payroll

The former chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission, who famously eyed regulating the politics of conservative outlets like the Drudge Report, has joined an advocacy group funded by George Soros and run by his son. Ann Ravel is the first fellow listed with the California advocacy group New America. Her fellowship began in March and pays a $30,000 stipend. “We want to help amplify the work of each of our fellows, both to help them better articulate and reach their target audience, and to raise their profiles as change-makers,” according to the group. Since leaving the FEC, Ravel has continued to speak out for more election regulation, especially on the internet where she sees political advertising shifting to in the next presidential contest. She has applauded calls for regulating political speech and spending on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and this week endorsed tracing the funding of online ads and regulating individual Twitter accounts. In a tweet, for example, she drew attention to a report of a Twitter supporter of Donald Trump named “Amy” who the San Francisco Examiner could not find. Ravel tweeted, “Searching for proof of Amy. FEC allows anonymous internet political ads & refuses to regulate foreign $-leads 2 this.” New America receives funding from the Soros group Open Society Foundations and it is run by Soros son Jonathan Soros.

What a nazi!  Ann Ravel is a big government, extreme liberal, fascist out to regulate speech she, and her ilk, don’t agree with.  This is actual fascism folks; the kind of thing that liberal hypocrites like Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews over at MSNBC accuse Trump and those in his administration of…which, of course, is ridiculous…and there is NO evidence of.  By extreme contrast, Ann, George Soros and other liberals like them truly DO want to censor certain types of speech, and are actually going after individuals and organizations they want to regulate.  It is they who you really need to worry about.  Keep this in mind the next time you hear some self-righteous, liberal hypocrite like Chris Matthews talk about a “whif of fascism.”  Tool…

FEC war: Dems reject call to protect Internet news, talk radio from regs

In the latest partisan escalation on the Federal Election Commission, a top Democratic commissioner has ripped a Republican commissioner’s bid to protect books, radio and Internet media from regulation as “pitiful.” Ann Ravel, a former FEC chairwoman, joined other Democrats at a meeting this month to block Republican Lee Goodman’s proposal to explicitly expand the “press exemption” from regulations to books, satellite radio and Internet-based news media. In pushing his plan aside, Ravel said that she didn’t have enough time to consider Goodman’s proposal. Goodman noted that the proposal has been under consideration for a while. That prompted Ravel to mock that Goodman’s public argument was meant to feed a story to the Washington Examiner, which has covered his concerns that FEC Democrats are trying to regulate conservative media, especially news outlets and news aggregators like the Drudge Report that are online. “I presume you’re just trying to utilize this argument for the Washington Examiner,” she said. That comment was tweeted by Dave Levinthal, a senior reporter for the Center for Public Integrity, who follows elections and the FEC. Ravel later tweeted a correction. “@davelevinthal @dcexaminer @FEC actually I was wrong, Dave. He chose the Daily Caller instead. Pitiful.” Goodman told Secrets that the latest attack on his proposals again show that Democrats are hostile to free press rights generally and in the past he has noted their antagonism to conservative media which is heavily internet based and on the radio, including Sirius/XM. Ravel’s “pitiful” comment appeared to refer to conservative news attention to Goodman’s proposal. “Once again, Commissioner Ravel has chosen to inject divisive ad hominem rhetoric into an honest debate about the scope of press freedom in America,” he said. “Instead of name-calling, Commissioner Ravel should explain why she wants to assert the power as a government official to ban books and motion pictures. She also owes an explanation for what appears to be a prejudice toward press organizations like Fox News, Washington Examiner and Daily Caller.”

Agreed!!  Just another example of the fascist attitude of Democrats.  They’re all for freedom of speech, and freedom of the press…as long as its media and speech they agree with.  Those media outlets, and speech they don’t agree with are targeted for censorship by their pc police and speech nazis.  Nothing new here..

Fox targeted by FEC Dems in first-ever vote to punish debate sponsorship

Finally making good on long-harbored anger at conservative media, Democrats on the Federal Election Commission voted in secret to punish Fox News’ sponsorship of a Republican presidential debate, using an obscure law to charge the network with helping those on stage. It is the first time in history that members of the FEC voted to punish a media outlet’s debate sponsorship, and it follows several years of Democratic threats against conservative media and websites like the Drudge Report. The punishment, however, was blocked by all three Republicans on the commission, resulting in a 3-3 tie vote and no action. A Republican FEC commissioner leading that fight, Lee E. Goodman, revealed the vote to Secrets Wednesday and said the official report of the May 26 executive vote will be released Thursday. Goodman has led the fight against several other efforts to censor conservative media by Democrats on the FEC. “The government should not punish any newsroom’s editorial decision on how best to provide the public information about candidates for office,” he said. “All press organizations should be concerned when the government asserts regulatory authority to punish and censor news coverage.” At issue was the Aug. 6, 2015 Fox presidential debate. Initially, the network planned to host one debate featuring 10 candidates. But as the date got close and the nearly two dozen GOP presidential candidates were close in the polls, Fox added a second debate that included seven other candidates. One of the candidates left out filed a complaint to the FEC, charging that Fox was essentially making a contribution to the 17 candidates by letting them have a voice in the debate. CNN did the same thing, but there is no indication that they faced a complaint. Goodman provided details about the vote to Secrets in hopes of highlighting the anti-conservative agenda pushed by Democratic FEC Commissioners Ann Ravel, Ellen Weintraub and Steven Walther. In a statement, Goodman wrote: “A complaint was filed with the FEC alleging that Fox News’ editorial decision to expand the debate from one debate to two debates, and to include 7 candidates in the undercard debate, constituted an illegal corporate contribution by Fox News to the candidates who participated in the debate. The FEC had to decide whether to enforce the corporate contribution ban against Fox News. Astonishingly, three FEC commissioners (Weintraub, Ravel, Walther) concluded that Fox News violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by making a prohibited corporate contribution to the 7 candidates invited to the debate. That is, by expanding the debate format to a broader group of candidates, Fox News violated the law. Three FEC commissioners (Lee Goodman, Matthew Petersen, Caroline Hunter) blocked this regulatory overreach into newsroom editorial judgments. Commissioners Petersen and Hunter and I voted to free Fox News’ editorial judgments from the FEC’s regulatory jurisdiction under the Free Press Clause of the Constitution and the Press Exemption in the Federal Election Campaign Act. Congress included in the Act an explicit exemption for the press and we respect Congress’ decision.” Only once has the commissioned threatened sponsorship of debates. In 1980, the commission moved to censor the Nashua, N.H. Telegraph for planning a debate between Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. The paper pulled out, so Reagan paid the costs himself. It is a debate famous for Reagan barking “I’m paying for this microphone” when a moderator tried to cut him off.

Dems on FEC vote to regulate political jokes

Over mocking objections from their own staff, two top Democrats on the politically divided Federal Election Commission voted to investigate one-time Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee for joking that he hoped supporters would shower him with million dollar contributions. In the latest display of FEC Democratic efforts to regulate speech and target Republicans, Commissioners Ann Ravel and Ellen Weintraub backed a complaint against Huckabee, who made the joke during his May 2015 presidential candidacy announcement. At that event, he said, “I will be funded and fueled not by the billionaires, but by working people across America who will find out that $15 and $25 a month contributions can take us from Hope to higher ground. If you want to give a million dollars, please do it, but most can’t.” He later told the FEC it was a joke, and the FEC staff report on the issue noted that Huckabee even changed his demeanor when he said it to reinforce that he wasn’t serious. “We conclude that an objective listener would not reasonably have understood that Huckabee in fact solicited million-dollar contributions. Rather, he appeared, to be making a humorous aside in the course of his speech,” said the just released staff report that recommended that a complaint against the former Arkansas governor be dismissed. But when the vote — also just released — was taken, Ravel and Weintraub balked. All three Republicans and the third Democrat on the FEC voted to dismiss the complaint. The two Democrats backed legal enforcement of the claim that Huckabee was actively urging supporters to contribute more than the legal limits of $2,700. The complaint against Huckabee said that he was actually soliciting big dollar contributions for an affiliated political action committee, but he never mentioned it in his speech. In mocking language, the FEC staff noted in its report how it was clearly a joke. Said the report: “Huckabee expressly dismissed the idea that members of his audience would provide large contributions and instead encouraged his listeners to consider contributing $15 or $25 a month. Huckabee then visibly altered his facial expression and tone and added that, “[i]f you want to give a million dollars, please do it.” Indeed, while making the aside, his demeanor changed in a way that further would have reasonably evidenced to his audience that his remarks were not serious or intended to be taken literally — he closes his eyes, pauses, shrugs, and smiles — and may in the audience laughed. “Consequently, given the context in which Huckabee made his statement, a reasonable person would have believed that Huckabee was not in earnest when he stated that “[i]f you want to give a million dollars, please to it.”

As we’ve been saying from day one here at The Daily Buzz.. Liberals are all for free speech..until you say something they don’t agree with. Then, they go after you. And, the do so via the courts, and fascist federal government agencies. The FEC is the ultimate federal agency of pc police and speech nazis. Thank God at least one of those three Dems had the common sense to vote to dismiss such a ridiculous complaint. But, it was one vote too close. Unreal..

Dems on FEC target conservatives, vote to punish maker of anti-Obama movie

The three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission, in their latest and boldest move to regulate conservative media, voted in unison to punish a movie maker critical of President Obama after he distributed for free his latest work, Dreams of My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception. Filmmaker Joel Gilbert, owner of Highway 61 films, has produced several independent politically-themed movies and sent Dreams out to millions of voters in key swing states prior to the 2012 election. While he acted on his own, and with no ties to political groups or parties, an FEC complaint was filed claiming he violated reporting rules, prompting him to seek the standard media “exemption.” But despite giving the same exemption to liberal movie makers like Michael Moore and Daily Kos, the Democrats recently voted against Gilbert in a February action, reviving their bid to punish conservative media, a campaign initially targeting online news outlets like the Drudge Report. Lucky for Gilbert, the three Republicans on the FEC also united to vote to give him the exemption. The tie vote blocked any action, and was followed by a unanimous 6-0 vote to close the file. Had he lost, Gilbert would have been required to report who helped fund the anti-Obama movie. The latest Democratic move on conservatives comes as some Democrats in Congress, and liberal publications, are pushing to end the even split between Democrats and Republicans on the FEC, a move conservatives have warned would lead to punishing new rules on right-leaning media and candidates. Republican Commissioner Lee E. Goodman has been warning about the assault on conservative media for three years and said the vote on Gilbert showed that the Democrats are still focused on right-leaning media. “Freedom of the press isn’t so free when three government commissars vote to punish a filmmaker for distributing a documentary film,” he told Secrets. “Conservative documentary films have faced tough sledding at the FEC, no matter how the films are distributed,” Goodman said, adding, “It’s chilling.”


FEC Democrat pushes for controls on Internet political speech

Opponents: ‘Nothing short of a Chinese censorship board’

Read this one and let it roll around in your head.  THIS is what happens when Democrats are in positions of power.  They’re a bunch of fascist nazis that want to stifle free speech so that only THEIR message and THEIR approved agenda is heard.  And, they’re up front and open about it.  Heck, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) has said he like to review the 1st Amendment altogether!!  Truly frightening!  And these three Dems on the FEC commission voted to actually require censorship and registration of certain political groups and individuals; groups and individuals who have a different political party affiliation or philosophy.  Regardless of what your political beliefs or party affiliation might be, this should terrify you…and motivate you to write both of your U.S. Senators and your Congressman/Congresswoman.

FEC chair warns that conservative media like Drudge Report and Sean Hannity face regulation — like PACs

FEC chair warns that conservative media like Drudge Report and Sean Hannity face regulation — like PACs

Good for Chairman Goodman, who was nominated by Obama and unanimously confirmed by the Senate (i.e. total true “bi-partisanship”)!  He is one of the few Obama nominees who has done an outstanding job, and hes doing a good job of telling liberals at the FEC (and in the Congress) who want to regulate conservative media to go play with themselves.  Unfortunately, he’ll only be at the post another 7 months.  Then, it’ll be anyone’s guess who takes over at FEC.  Obama isn’t running for re-election.  So, he’ll probably nominate someone more sympathetic to those liberals who want to regulate conservative media, which are giving the dominate mainstream media something liberals cannot stand….competition.