With the sudden resignation of FEC Commissioner Ann Ravel, President Trump has an unexpected chance to shape the rules around money in politics.
President Trump gets to appoint a commissioner to replace Ravel.1 He can choose someone who will fight corruption, or he can choose someone who will make it worse.
If Trump chooses someone who opposes campaign finance restrictions, the 6-person agency would be tilted 4-2 against doing anything to stop secret contributions or legalized bribery.
That would mean more special interest influence in elections, less transparency, and fewer independently-minded politicians.
But the Federal Election Commission could actually take steps to fight Big Money. They could require all election spending to be disclosed, effectively fixing the “dark money" problem.2 Or they could take on super PACs by forcing them to stay independent from political campaigns.3
This is a monumental decision that will have major implications for our elections and our democracy.
On the campaign trail, Trump made it clear that he understands the power big donors have over politicians.4 Choosing an FEC Commissioner who believes in enforcing campaign finance laws and draining the swamp is the first step towards bringing power back to ordinary people.
- Bloomberg: "FEC's Direction in Doubt After Ravel's Departure"
- Washington Post: "How the FEC can stop the tidal wave of secret political cash"
- ABC News: "Donald Trump's Surprisingly Honest Lessons on Money in Politics"