Saturday, February 17, 2018

Lee Goodman: Happy Warrior for the First Amendment on the FEC

Yesterday was Republican Commissioner Lee Goodman's last day on the Federal Election Commission.  RNLA Vice President for Election Education David Warrington described some of his accomplishments, fighting to protect First Amendment rights and the rule of law, on the FEC in The Hill:
The left often charges that the FEC is a “dysfunctional” agency. Goodman, however, refuted the “dysfunction” charge using the FEC’s own data, showing that the agency acted in a bipartisan fashion on 93 percent of all votes taken. Goodman exposed what the left really meant by “dysfunction” at the FEC — failing to agree with the Democrats. To the dismay of Democrats, Goodman and his fellow Republican commissioners refused to ignore existing law and change the rules governing Americans’ political speech. . . . 
Goodman was committed to keeping speech on the internet free of new regulation. Despite what you might read in the news, paid advertisements on the internet are subject to the full range of FEC regulations, just like newspaper or television ads. Since 2006, Internet activities posted for free — blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets, YouTube videos, etc. — have been exempt from FEC regulations. Yet the FEC Democrats would like nothing more than to regulate these everyday activities and have been creatively trying to find ways around the longstanding “Internet Exemption.” Standing in their way have been Lee Goodman and the other Republican commissioners. . . . 
As the Democrats have used alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election as an excuse to regulate social media, Lee Goodman has persistently pointed out their errors: foreign paid ads are already illegal and it is impractical to assume the FEC could police disclaimers on ads placed on foreign servers, so the real burden of any social media regulation would fall on American citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. . . . 
Democrats are eager to use campaign finance laws as a tool to intimidate and suppress the speech of their political opponents. Lee Goodman, defender of the First Amendment stood in their way and thereby protected the rights of all Americans — from their right not to be hauled before his agency for a tweet, to the right to a press free from government interference, to the right to fair notice of what activity is regulated or prohibited. Thank you, Commissioner Goodman.
We agree - thank you, Mr. Goodman, for your commitment to the rule of law and the Constitution and protecting the rights of all Americans during your service on the FEC. 

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