Posted on 2/17/2018, 11:50:58 AM by blam
Democrats on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) have taken their fight against media outlets such as Fox and the Drudge Report “underground,” says Lee Goodman, who is leaving the agency Friday after nearly five years on the panel.
“The debate has gone underground, it has not ceased,” said Goodman, who pointed to a campaign by FEC Democrats to remove long-standing media exemptions on fines and criminal charges for not policing whether or not political ads contained the proper disclaimers identifying their source.
In a memo about a recent case, for example, Goodman said that Democrats Ellen Weintraub and Steven Walther wanted to upend a long-standing practice of not holding media outlets responsible when political campaigns and advocates fail to include in ads the required disclaimer stating who paid for the ad.
In that case, two anti-Hillary Clinton ads were run in an Ohio newspaper, the Chesterland News, that did not carry the required disclaimer. FEC lawyers recommended no action against the paper, citing precedent that the person placing ads is responsible. –Washington Examiner
After the FEC lawyers gave the Ohio paper a pass, Weintraub proposed changing the practice – instead clearing the paper through a “discretionary dismissal” according to Goodman.
“Too often colleagues here and throughout the government wish to regulate core First Amendment rights through the exercise of ‘discretion,’ or ‘prosecutorial discretion.’ They rely on vague ‘facts and circumstances tests to decide when to punish and when to let a violation slide. Regulation by human discretion means an inherent risk of bias and unequal treatment.” Goodman told The Examiner.
While the effort to punish the Ohio paper was shot down in a split vote, Goodman says it’s yet one example of FEC Democrats
(Excerpt) Read more at conservativeangle.com …