Unlike the debunked Russia collusion narrative,
this is a REAL threat to democracy.
By Jamie White
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has ruled that foreign donors can finance U.S. ballot initiatives, thus allowing foreign spending to influence important American policy issues.
Foreign nationals are prohibited from donating to U.S. election campaigns, as per the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, but the FEC ruled Monday that foreigners can directly donate to ballot referenda such as congressional redistricting.
“The United States Supreme Court has long recognized that the Act ‘regulates only candidate elections, not referenda or other issue-based ballot measures,'” the FEC ruling stated.
“Consistent with the Act and court precedents, the Commission has observed that spending relating only to ballot initiatives is generally outside the purview of the Act because such spending is not ‘in connection with’ elections.”
There are already 61 referenda on state ballots in 2022, according to electoral research service Ballotpedia. The decision has the potential to affect not just policy initiatives, but the mechanics of U.S. democracy itself.
Issues such as congressional redistricting are frequently settled via state referenda. The FEC’s decision could put wealthy foreigners in a position to influence that process.
The opposing view is the federal ban on foreign donations “in connection with” an election bars funding for such measures — regardless of whether they’re litigated via ballot question.
That issue wasn’t addressed in the FEC’s decision this week.
The FEC’s ruling stemmed from a complaint filed by The Montana Mining Association opposing a 2018 ballot measure they claim was illegally financed by a Canadian subsidiary of Australian firm Sandfire Resources to block new restrictions on hard rock mining in the state.
Montana Trout Unlimited executive director David Brooks called the FEC ruling “surprising and scary.”
“Are we, as U.S. citizens, really OK with letting foreign money go directly to state lawmaking via citizen initiative campaigns?” he told Axios.
Likewise, Brendan Fischer, director of FEC reforms at Campaign Legal Center, said the FEC’s ruling “reflects a big loophole in the federal ban on foreign money in U.S. elections.”
This is just another step in the Biden administration’s plan to surrender American sovereignty over to foreign interests.
Read the FEC ruling: