Internet-Regulating FEC Commissioner to Resign

Democratic commissioner has been no-show from public meetings since early December

Ann Ravel

Ann Ravel / AP

BY:

A Democratic Federal Election Commission official who pushed to regulate the internet and has been absent from public meetings for months is resigning, according to an announcement.

Ann Ravel, who wanted to regulate political speech on the internet from websites such as the Drudge Report, announced Sunday that she is stepping down from her post.

"It’s been an honor to serve the FEC. I’m committed to transparency – here’s my resignation letter to Donald Trump," Ravel tweeted on Sunday morning.

Ravel attached her resignation letter to President Donald Trump, which focused on asking Trump to prioritize campaign finance reform.

"I respectfully urge you to prioritize campaign finance reform to remedy the significant problems identified during the last election cycle," the letter says. "Disclosure laws need to be strengthened; the mistaken jurisprudence of Citizens United reexamined; public financing of candidates ought to be expanded to reduce reliance on the wealthy; and Commissioners who will carry out the mandates of the law should be appointed to expired terms at the FEC. Thank you very much."

Ravel’s resignation will be effective March 1.

The Democratic commissioner has come under fire on numerous occasions in the past due to her desire to regulate online political speech—actions some viewed as targeting conservative websites.

Ravel has also been a no-show from FEC public meetings in recent months, phoning it in from California after being passed up for the attorney general spot in the state. During one meeting, Ravel seemed so distant that the Democratic chair of the commission asked if she was awake.

Despite Ravel’s absence from the meetings, she attempted to call for a special meeting that would allow a vote on whether or not she could attend a foreign-funded junket to Ecuador to observe their elections.

After being contacted by the Washington Free Beacon seeking comment on the demand, Ravel’s special counsel said that Ravel had reversed her decision to participate in the trip. If Ravel did not rescind her demand and the trip were approved, she would currently be in Ecuador.

"Ravel had become a frequent no-show at Commission meetings since late last year, phoning into 4 public meetings (one from a train) and completely skipping two executive sessions in January," a source close to the Commission said in an emailed statement. "That did not stop her, however, from requesting a special meeting to obtain Commission approval to travel to Ecuador, at foreign expense, a request she later withdrew after the Free Beacon wrote about the matter."

Ravel was first appointed to the FEC by President Barack Obama in 2013 and chaired the commission in 2015.

Ravel did not immediately return a request for comment on her resignation.

Joe Schoffstall   Email Joe | Full Bio | RSS
Joe Schoffstall is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. Previously, he spent three years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. He can be reached at Schoffstall@freebeacon.com. His Twitter handle is @JoeSchoffstall.

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