WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today slammed the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) for voting to allow foreign donors to contribute to U.S. ballot initiatives. The decision will potentially allow foreign adversaries to influence referenda such as congressional redistricting.
In a video statement, the congressman said, “The FEC is further opening the floodgates to foreign money to come into our political process by making it legal for foreign money to fund ballot referenda, which may include things like congressional redistricting…This is shortsighted and dangerous. If you open this little crack, I can guarantee you that the Chinese Communist Party is going to take advantage of it.”
Rep. Gallagher additionally called on the FEC to reverse this decision, and failing that, called on every state — including Wisconsin — to pass legislation that would prohibit foreign donors from contributing to these initiatives. Currently, only 7 states have moved to outlaw these dollars from influencing ballot initiatives.
Click HERE to watch the congressman’s full video, or read the transcript below.
“In America, it is illegal for foreign entities to donate to American politicians or campaigns. That is for good reason: you don’t want a foreign country meddling in our political process. For example, you don’t want the Chinese Communist Party throwing a bunch of cash around trying to influence U.S. political outcomes, which they’re already doing by hiring former Senators, former Members of the House to lobby on behalf of their state directed companies. This is crazy and should be illegal, but I digress because now we’re actually going beyond that.
“The FEC, with a dumb decision reported this week, is further opening the floodgates to foreign money to come in to our political process by making it legal for such money to fund ballot referenda, which may include things like congressional redistricting, which is incredibly important and something you want to insulate from any foreign influence.
“Or you can imagine an even bigger case where, let’s say, the Chinese Communist Party wanted to influence political processes in US territories like Guam and convince them to pass referenda to sever their ties to the United States.
“The point is this is shortsighted and it’s dangerous. And if you open this little crack, I can guarantee the Chinese Communist Party is going to take advantage of it.
“We do not want foreign money flooding into our political system, so the FEC should reverse this decision. But failing that we need states to outlaw. There’s 7 states that have already outlawed this, but Wisconsin is not one of those states. I think it would make a ton of sense for the legislature in Wisconsin to pass a law outlawing foreign money from influencing our process at the state level.
“The last thing we need is to allow foreign adversaries like China or Russia an opportunity to throw a bunch of money into our political process and further corrupt career politicians who are just looking for an easy buck.”