This is somewhat humorous: following the flood of public comments submitted to the FEC on the McCutcheon public hearing, the Republican commissioners are exploring banning public comments on FEC rulemaking via emails.
A petition for rulemaking filed by Public Citizen will be posted by the FEC on Thursday, March 19, for public comment. The petition calls for the FEC to end its policy of allowing government contractors to sidestep the current ban on federal contractors making campaign contributions to political committees simply by creating two distinct divisions within a single company – one division that receives federal contracts (and thus is prohibited from making campaign contributions), and another division that doesn’t hold the same company’s federal contracts (and thus can make campaign contributions). Any major company can set up two artificially distinct divisions and thus evade the pay-to-play law under the current FEC guidance.
I hope some of you will join in filing public comments with the FEC on this issue when it is posted (perhaps even by email). This is not a disclosure issue, but an issue about how the government contractor law gets enforced (or not). I’ll fill you in on further details following tomorrow’s FEC meeting.
BNA Money and Politics Report
March 18, 2015
The first "Yipes" is the whole point behind sending this communication -- concept of making complaints disappear by not allowing comments. On the one hand, you'd think that probably the best way to make complaints go away is by providing actually great service and products. On the other hand, you have to admit that not allowing comments is pretty darn effective.
One would think that for federal contracts, the ability to make public comments would be, like, the basic consideration of getting the contract. But hey, that's me...
But further than that, the second is is...wait, that is actually the current policy??? That a federal contractor can just set up two divisions within their company and actually claim it’s a different company?!! Seriously??? No, I mean, seriously?!!! That's almost like punching someone with your left hand and claiming you're not responsible because you're really right-handed.
This isn't robbing Peter to pay Paul -- this is robbing Peter and Paul, and claiming that no one was robbed because you put the money in a box outside your house, and the box isn't yours but was just sitting there.
In what rational universe is this acceptable? In what rational universe is any of this acceptable?
If anyone disagrees with me here, don't bother leaving a complaint, because I've disabled comments.
Okay, no, I didn't. But that's okay -- because I'm writing this from my dad's home, so I'm not responsible for the content. Take your complaints up with him. Though he doesn't own the place, so he's not responsible.