The Federal Election Commission has six members. The rules say that no more than three can be from the same political party. As a result, we have three rational people (Democrats) and three complete idiots (Republicans).
As you may be already guessing, this means it’s very hard to get anything productive done due to Republican obstruction. However, things have gotten so bad lately that even for Republicans this is unprecedented.
At a recent meeting of the FEC, the three dingdong Republicans’ obstruction was so blind that they even turned down support for the beginning of a process to create new regulations that would prevent corporations that are completely owned by foreign governments from pouring unlimited dark money into U.S. elections at any level. To put it simply, Vladimir Putin could buy your local mayor or a U.S. president.
There was a clever loophole put into the Citizens United decision in 2010 that allowed this to happen. While U.S. law prevents “foreign nationals” from putting money into politics, if a company is incorporated in the U.S., it’s treated as a U.S. national.
Being incorporated in the U.S. does not mean it isn’t foreign owned when you evaluate it objectively. Filing paperwork and having a mailbox in the U.S. that nobody ever sends letters to, while Vladimir Putin or the Saudi royal family personally control the corporation that exists outside our borders is just a way to skirt the law.
The Republican members of the committee had an alternative solution to this problem. They proposed that they just say that money can’t come directly from corporate treasuries, and the only method they use to police this is by asking the corporations to give a statement saying no “foreign nationals” were involved in making the decision to buy an election.
Simply put, Republicans will allow them to violate this law as long as they lie about not violating it before they do so. There really hasn’t been as blatant of an admission that the American government is for lease to the highest bidder since the conservative Supreme Court made the Citizens United decision.
Featured image via Politico