The ‘Democrat Politician Protection Act’

House Democrats’ First Major Initiative Is A Power Grab Designed To Tilt Elections In Their Favor And Consolidate Authority In Washington


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “This week, Democrats in the House of Representatives are beginning the committee process for a bill they’re saying is their party’s signature priority for this Congress. They are so focused on this legislation that they’ve given it the ceremonial designation of H.R. 1. But I think it’s more accurately described another way: The ‘Democrat Politician Protection Act.’ [T]his sprawling proposal is basically the far left’s entire Christmas wish list where our nation’s political process is concerned. It would pile new Washington D.C.-focused regulations onto virtually every aspect of how politicians are elected and what Americans can say about them.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 1/29/2019)


Democrats’ Bill Starts By Giving Away Taxpayer Money To Political Campaigns And Gets Worse From There

SEN. McCONNELL: “H.R. 1 would victimize every American taxpayer by pouring their money into expensive new subsidies that don’t even pass the laugh test. In several new ways, it would put every taxpayer on the hook to line the pockets of candidates, campaigns, and outside consultants. Do you look forward to the bumper stickers, robocalls, attack ads, and campaign mail that descend on the country in seemingly-endless cycles? Speaker Pelosi must think you do, because she wants to you pay for these things with your tax dollars.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 1/30/2019)

  • SEN. McCONNELL: “This bill creates brand-new government subsidies both for political campaign donors and for the campaigns themselves. The federal government would start ‘matching’ political donations the same way some employers match gifts to charity. You would literally be funding attack ads for the candidates you disagree with! Maybe that’s why every Democrat opposed our tax cuts for middle-class families and small businesses. They were counting on that money to pull off this stimulus package for campaign consultants.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 1/30/2019)


Democrats’ Bill Would Transform The FEC Into ‘A Partisan Institution’

SEN. McCONNELL: “Democrats want to make the Federal Elections Commission a partisan institution. Since Watergate, the FEC has been a six-member body and neither party gets more than three seats. After all, this is the commission with the sensitive duty of regulating Americans’ speech about politics and campaigns themselves. The FEC should not be a weapon that one political party can wield against its rivals. But the legislation that Democrats are moving through committee would throw away that bipartisan split.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 1/29/2019)

  • THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Criticism of the FEC is part of the left’s strategy to turn the commission into its agent to intimidate conservative groups and limit their political speech. The letter writing campaigns use the same accusations about ‘dark money’ that the groups used to lobby the IRS in the 2012 election cycle. In September 2011, Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center wrote to then IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman and Exempt Organizations Director Lois Lerner requesting an IRS probe into whether ‘certain organizations are ineligible for tax exempt status under section 501(c)(4).’ Around the same time, the IRS created its process that targeted conservative groups. The same outfits are back at it, filling the FEC’s docket with complaints that target Republicans or GOP-leaning organizations 75% or more of the time.” (Editorial, “Return of the Speech Police,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/08/2015)


Under The Bill, A Newly Partisan FEC Would Be Empowered To Forcibly Publicize Donors, ‘Leaving Citizens More Vulnerable To Public Harassment Over Private Views’

SEN. McCONNELL: “Many more Americans would have to notify the feds when spending even small amounts of money on speech or else be penalized. That partisan FEC would also get wide latitude to determine when a nonprofit’s speech has crossed that fuzzy ‘campaign-related’ line and then forcibly publicize the group’s private supporters. Apparently the Democrats define ‘democracy’ as giving Washington a clearer view of whom to intimidate and leaving citizens more vulnerable to public harassment over private views. Under this bill, you’d keep your right to free association as long as your private associations were broadcast to everyone. You’d keep your right to speak freely so long as you notified a distant bureaucracy likely run by the same people you criticized.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “Mitch McConnell: Behold the Democrat Politician Protection Act,” The Washington Post, 1/17/2019)

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo) 2018 Campaign Ran Ads Attacking And Intimidating A Private Citizen For Participating In An Election

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: “Democrat Claire McCaskill is indeed facing a tough re-election [and] the McCaskill forces are piling on a guy who isn’t even running. Indeed, they are attacking a private citizen and donor, David Humphreys. Back in March, Chuck Schumer’s Senate Majority PAC began plowing millions into attacks on the businessman, who donated to [McCaskill opponent Josh] Hawley’s campaign for attorney general…. [S]uch ads are a warning to other donors. Don’t get involved, or your reputations and businesses will be next. Intimidation and threats, leveled against private citizens, are now standard liberal practice. If they can’t win the argument, they can take out the opponent. And it explains the new liberal push at the state level (including in Missouri) for more donation and nonprofit ‘disclosure.’ It isn’t about transparency in the public interest; it’s about identifying new political targets.” (Kimberley Strassel, “McCaskill’s Intimidation Game,” The Wall Street Journal, 7/26/2018)

Flashback: President Obama’s 2012 Campaign Listed And Attacked Mitt Romney’s Supporters

KIMBERLEY STRASSEL: “Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check. Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. His campaign brands you a Romney donor, shames you for ‘betting against America,’ and accuses you of having a ‘less-than-reputable’ record. The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money. Are you worried?” (Kimberley Strassel, “Strassel: The President Has a List,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/26/2012)

  • STRASSEL: “[O]ne of [President Obama’s] campaign websites posted an item entitled ‘Behind the curtain: A brief history of Romney's donors.’ In the post, the Obama campaign named and shamed eight private citizens who had donated to his opponent. Describing the givers as all having ‘less-than-reputable records,’ the post went on to make the extraordinary accusations that ‘quite a few’ have also been ‘on the wrong side of the law’ and profiting at ‘the expense of so many Americans.’” (Kimberley Strassel, “Strassel: The President Has a List,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/26/2012)


Democrats’ Bill ‘Would Make States Mimic The Practices’ That Resulted In Tens Of Thousands Of Erroneous Voter Registrations In California

SEN. McCONNELL: “Even more egregiously, the legislation dedicates hundreds of pages to federalizing the electoral process. It would make states mimic the practices that recently caused California to create 23,000 incorrect voter registrations. It would make it harder for states to fix inaccurate data in their voter rolls.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “Mitch McConnell: Behold the Democrat Politician Protection Act,” The Washington Post, 1/17/2019)

“The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Wednesday said it has discovered it sent the Secretary of State’s Office 23,000 erroneous voter registrations. The agency said the errors occurred within the state’s Motor Voter program — which allows eligible applicants getting a driver license to be automatically registered to vote…. In some cases, people were registered in the wrong party. Some customers who wished to opt out of the program were added. In a letter sent to the Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Wednesday, the department said the inaccurate customer information largely affected ‘voter preferences such as, vote-by-mail options, language and political party selections.’” (“California DMV Mishandled Thousands Of Voter Registrations,” The Sacramento Bee, 9/05/2018)

“The California Department of Motor Vehicles has come under intense scrutiny this week after admitting that it mistakenly registered 1,500 individuals to vote, prompting a sharp rebuke from the secretary of state and other government officials in Sacramento…. At the center of the controversy is California’s new Motor Voter program, which automatically registers eligible voters who visit the D.M.V. to renew or replace their drivers’ licenses. Speaking to reporters Tuesday, [California Secretary of State Alex] Padilla said that freezing the program, which began this year, was ‘certainly on the table.’” (“California Today: More Voter Registration Problems at the D.M.V.,” The New York Times, 10/10/2018)

Meanwhile The Bill Leaves Intact ‘Ballot Harvesting’ Practices That Reportedly Benefited Democrats In California But Are Illegal In Other States

SEN. McCONNELL: “Yet the legislation declines to address the sketchy ‘ballot harvesting’ that upended the result in North Carolina’s 9th District — perhaps because the practice is perfectly legal in California, where Democrats made huge gains in 2018.” (Sen. McConnell, Op-Ed, “Mitch McConnell: Behold the Democrat Politician Protection Act,” The Washington Post, 1/17/2019)

‘California Democrats Took Advantage’ In 2018 Of A New Law They Passed ‘On A Largely Party-Line Vote’ Allowing Ballot Harvesting

“California Democrats took advantage of seemingly minor changes in a 2016 law to score their stunningly successful midterm election results … [Republicans] felt the hit on Nov. 6 — and in the days after, as late-arriving Democratic votes were tabulated and one Republican candidate after another saw leads shrink and then evaporate.” (“California’s Late Votes Broke Big For Democrats. Here’s Why GOP Was Surprised,” San Francisco Chronicle, 11/30/2018)

But In North Carolina, Ballot Harvesting Is Illegal And Under Scrutiny In A Disputed Congressional Race

“An investigation into whether political operatives in North Carolina illegally collected and possibly stole absentee ballots in a still-undecided congressional race has drawn attention to a widespread but little-known political tool called ballot harvesting. It's a practice long used by special-interest groups and both major political parties … The groups rely on data showing which voters requested absentee ballots but have not turned them in. They then go door-to-door and offer to collect and turn in those ballots for the voters — often dozens or hundreds at a time.” (“Disputed House Race Puts Spotlight on ‘Ballot Harvesting,’” The Associated Press, 12/07/2018)

  • “A North Carolina woman on Tuesday admitted to illegally ‘harvesting’ ballots for a campaign operative working for GOP candidate Mark Harris in the race for the state’s 9th District U.S. House seat…. It is illegal in North Carolina for a third party to turn in absentee ballots.” (Roll Call, 12/04/2018)



Related Issues: Campaigns & Elections, First Amendment