altFEC Profile picture
The unofficial #Resistance team of the U.S. Federal Election Commission.
Barb Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
14 Nov 18
1/ So! 657 days and 50,000 followers into the effort, it's time to close up shop at @alt_fec. The midterms are done and it looks like the Republic just might survive this crisis. We have been called to #resist in other ways.

Two parting thoughts as we ride off into the sunset:
2/ • Our #campaignfinance laws have been fundamentally broken by #SCOTUS. It's not a matter of flipping #CitizensUnited – you have to reach back to Buckley v. Valeo (1976), the case that established that the government has no interest in a level playing field…
3/ and that preventing corruption is the only allowable reason to regulate #campaignfinance. This was a bad idea from the start, and has led to rotten results. Since #SCOTUS is unlikely to help out anytime soon, and amending the Constitution is unlikely to work, …
Read 10 tweets
9 Oct 18
THREAD: In Kavanaugh's wake, we've seen a lot of gnashing of teeth about the structural flaw in the Constitution that gives rural red states disproportionate influence in the Electoral College & U.S. Senate. Here's a fairly radical but possible idea for fixing the Senate. 1/9
I'll note at the outset that I'm just throwing this idea out; no details have been thought through other than what you're seeing here. It's also not a new idea.

Just wanted to illustrate that there *are* ways to address the seemingly intractable problem of the Senate. 2/9
The disproportionality problem in a nutshell: California had 39.5 million people in 2017, more than six times the national average, and 68 times Wyoming's population of 579k. Yet both states have equal influence in the U.S. Senate. 3/9
Read 9 tweets
29 Sep 18
A short meditation on white privilege.

Setting everything else aside for another moment, #Kavanaugh's testimony is a virtually perfect illustration of how ugly it looks to ignore your white privilege.

In dodging Sen. Whitehouse's questions about the 'Ralph Club,' Kavanaugh boasted about getting into Yale, and then Yale Law School. "Worked my tail off," he said.

Later, he said, "I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number one law school in the country. I had no connections there. I got there by busting my tail in college."

Surely he did.

Read 6 tweets
23 Aug 18
#trumptranscript 8/18/18, 9:06am, 1/5:

“For many years, I've been complaining about the horrible trade deals that our country was making. Our presidents and their representatives were just not treating our workers fairly.”

#trumptranscript 8/18/18, 9:06am, 2/5:

“They weren't, frankly, treating our companies fairly. Those days are over. Right now, we have companies pouring back into our country. We have fair deals. We have really fair deals, and we have many deals in the works.”
#trumptranscript 8/18/18, 9:06am, 3/5:

“Other countries that took advantage of us are no longer taking advantage of us.

Our jobs were lost, our taxes were lost, our businesses were lost. Those days are over. We're making great trade deals.”
Read 5 tweets
23 Aug 18
#trumptranscript 8/18/18, 3:39pm, 1/4:

Many people have asked me, why do I meet with foreign leaders? Why do I even waste my time? The fact is, it's very important. I've said for a long time, if you're President, you should meet with foreign leaders.

#trumptranscript 8/18/18, 3:39pm, 2/4:

You have nothing to lose & you have a lot to gain. You look at what happened in Singapore, you look at what happened with Chairman Kim, & all that's taken place, we have the remains back of our great heroes that were lost so many years ago.
#trumptranscript 8/18/18, 3:39pm, 3/4:

We have nobody shooting out missiles and nuclear testing and other things that were going on that were terrible.

We had a tremendous meeting with President Putin, a lot of things were accomplished.
Read 4 tweets
23 Aug 18
#trumptranscript 8/22/18, 6:24pm, 1/4:

Mollie Tibbetts, an incredible young woman, is now permanently separated from her family.

A person came in, from Mexico, illegally, and killed her.

#trumptranscript 8/22/18, 6:24pm, 2/4:

We need the wall, we need our immigration laws changed, we need our border laws changed, we need Republicans to do it because the Democrats aren't going to do it. This is one instance of many.
#trumptranscript 8/22/18, 6:24pm, 3/4:

We have tremendous crime trying to come through the borders.

We have the worst laws anywhere in the world. Nobody has laws like the United States. They are strictly pathetic.

We need new immigration laws, we need new border laws.
Read 4 tweets
23 Aug 18
#trumptranscript 8/22/18, 7:01pm, 1/3:

When I got elected, you had some people that said, 'This is going to be the greatest thing to ever happen to our country.' I guess that's why I won; we had a lot of people.

#trumptranscript 8/22/18, 7:01pm, 2/3:

But you had others that say, 'Oh, the market will collapse; lots of bad things will happen.' And take a look at what's happened. We have the greatest, longest bull market in the history of our country.

They turned out to be wrong.
#trumptranscript 8/22/18, 7:01pm, 3/3:

Some have actually apologized. but very, very few. I think the rest will soon be apologizing because, honestly, the American public demands an apology.

We are doing better financially, as a country, than we've ever done before.
Read 3 tweets
23 Jul 18
We’re very pleased to have not lost any followers in The Twitter Bot Purge of 2018. We have 49,864 real human followers who actually give a damn about #campaignfinance, it would appear!

It’s a big election year! RT this, follow @alt_fec & help us crack 50k followers! 146 to go!
136 to go. That’s not a quick response from the Twitter community – that’s some bad math.
Shameless self-promotion dept.: 82 followers to go! We may be finding the upper limit on who cares about elections in this country. RT and follow @alt_fec and help us crack 50k.
Read 3 tweets
13 Jun 18
The Democratic Party is considering de-emphasizing or eliminating #superdelegates, which are heavily criticized for being small-d undemocratic, which they absolutely are. But please consider this defense of this essential protection against populist demagogues. /1
Lots of things have changed since the Founders founded, but their deep-seated fear of the damage a populist demagogue could do to a democracy remains absolutely valid. Hamilton's Federalist Papers are riddled with warnings from top to bottom. /2
Federalist Paper 1 featured this warning: "[O]f those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants." /3
Read 16 tweets
3 May 18
Now is perhaps as good a moment as any to brush up on the concept of “in-kind contributions.” Under federal law, these are amounts paid to influence an election that don’t go through campaign's bank account. The key word here is "contributions." That's what they are. /1
Let's take a keg of beer at a campaign event. If the campaign paid for it, it has to be reported as an expense. /2
But if someone who's not the candidate brought it, that’s an in-kind contribution. It doesn’t matter that the campaign never saw the cash. The beer purchase has to be reported by the campaign as a contribution, and then as an expense. /3
Read 8 tweets
19 Jan 18
1/ Ignore the salacious details for just a moment. An agent of a federal candidate is reported to have transferred $130k three weeks before an election to kill a story that would hurt the candidate. This gets @alt_fec's attention.…
2/ Here's 52 USC §30101(8)(A): "The term 'contribution' includes— (i) any gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office..."
3/ And on the flip side: 52 USC §30101(9)(A): "The term 'expenditure' includes— (i) any purchase, payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift of money or anything of value, made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office..."
Read 9 tweets