Ann Ravel, Commissioner of the Federal Elections Commission, submitted her resignation to President Donald Trump today. Ravel, an Obama appointee, had been a vocal critic of conservative political groups and wanted expanded FEC powers to regulate and censor them.
It appears Ravel was not willing to work with President Donald Trump as her boss. She would not have found Trump to be very receptive to her ideas. She has been highly critical of conservatives websites like The Drudge Report. She also has announced her intent to use FEC powers to restrict the influence of groups like Citizens United.
In her resignation letter, she pushed President Trump to enact stricter campaign finance reform. Those reforms often targeted conservative groups more than liberal ones.
“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.”
After Donald Trump was elected, Ravel appears to have given up working. She still wanted to collect a paycheck, however.
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 seemed determined to make a spectacle of her resignation. She tweeted out her announcement and posted it on the website Medium.com, where she has published essays critical of conservative groups.
Here is her letter in its entirety.