The campaign by Democrats on the Federal Election Commission to regulate the internet, from Twitter and Facebook to Drudge, is back after some liberal commissioners threw in the towel amid GOP opposition.
Seizing on an exit report card of the agency by ex-Commissioner Ann Ravel, the left is complaining that the internet isn't being regulated for political content and spending, but should be.
Using the "altFEC" twitter account, one of several "alt" sites set up by government workers in agencies resisting the new Trump administration, the proponents reference Ravel's critical report.
"It means that the @FEC's disclosure rules have not been updated for the era of YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter," it said, reiterating charges from Ravel and others that the FEC rules are outdated. She led the effort to change them and Republicans on the commission said that her goal was only to regulate right-leaning websites, like Drudge, and online campaigns of Republicans.
Thanks altFEC for spreading the word to people about this important agency which is not doing what the public has a right to expect it to do https://t.co/3vT7VIsh5j— Ann Ravel (@AnnMRavel) March 20, 2017
It was part of a tweetstorm that Ravel cheered in a tweet. "Thanks altFEC for spreading the word to people about this important agency which is not doing what the public has a right to expect it to do," she tweeted.
22/21 But read the full Ravel report if you're interested in all things #campaignfinance! Again, it's here: https://t.co/7YURVUKFiv #resist pic.twitter.com/RLOhjWNhC5— altFEC (@alt_fec) March 20, 2017
The tweets were noticed by critics of the FEC Democrats.
"altFEC is attacking the GOPers' original vote to apply the internet exemption to a conservative organization," said an insider, noting that Republicans pushed to keep regulations from internet sites in order to maintain its free-wheeling style.
The new push for regulation drew a laugh from a conservative FEC watcher: "It is ironic that the Democrats are using an anonymous twitter account to attack the right of non-profit organizations to post content on the web for free without disclosing their donors."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org