Open Meeting of April 11, 2019

Open Meeting of April 11, 2019


Good morning. The open meeting for Thursday,
April 11, 2019, will come to order. Sorry for the slight delay. We have had a very interesting
agenda. The agenda notes, the item 3 on the agenda, draft advisory 2018 and we will not
discuss that today we put out a new draft response and they need the opportunity to
review that and perhaps provide comments on it which is perfectly reasonable. So we expect
to take that up at the next meeting. The first item on the agenda is draft advisory opinion
that is defending the. And, the old friends of the commission and welcome back former
Commissioner. I should say welcome back because you probably never been to this building.
It’s a whole new fancy conference room. I bet you’re almost sorry
that you laughed. Almost. We have a large group of people who have come to engage with
us on this. And I invite you to come to the table and I’m sure that we are going to have
to questions for you. We should do the minutes First Lady are getting settled. Mr. Vice Chairman.
>>A local approval, on March 28, 2000. And I hope it’s 19. In the document number. The
Vice Chairman with the approval of the minutes. And defended document as well. Any discussion
on the motion. If not, I will call the question all in favor say aye and the motion passes
unanimously. We have another elementary motion. Mr. Vice Chairman. Thank you. We have the
agenda documents in order so that they may consider that document . Motion from the Vice Chairman to suspend the
rules. To consider 19 — 14 –be any discussion? If not, I will call to question all in favor
say Aye motion passes. Thank you. And that brings us to the very interesting draft advisory
opinion 2018 Mr. windbreaker ? Thank you Kocher, Weintraub. These are draft
responses to advisory request defending digital campaigns the requester asked whether it may
provide or facilitate the provision of certain cyber security services software and hardware
to those committees and national party committees on a nonpartisan basis and according to predetermined
objective criteria. Draft a concludes that it was is permissible because the provision
of the services described would not be made for the purpose of influence in a federal
election or in connection with the federal election and would not constitute prohibitive
contributions draft be continued that the proposal is impermissible because of a vision
of the services described in the request would be in connection with a federal election and
thus would constitute a prohibited contribution. We received no comments on the request campaign
legal Center submitted a comment on that last October and the updated comment last week.
The request submitted the comment and supplementary information on the draft pick and answering
any questions that you may have. Thank you. And, in one of the comments from
that, there was a proposal for an alternative analysis so, there is draft a contract be.
And, not quite draft day but something that potentially could become that. I’d like to
start by asking the requesters if they would like to speak to you good morning. A pleasure
to be here I love your new space. And, this meeting room is just lovely. We really want
to thank the commission’s patience and indulgence concerning this matter. It is like Groundhog
Day. We are on the agenda and then we carried over but we really appreciate the commission
accommodating this matter for many months. Obviously a number of novel issues here. But,
it’s a pleasure to introduce Matt Rhodes as you know, former campaign manager for Mitt
Romney’s presidential campaign. And served as the campaign manager for Hillary Rodham
Clinton. And we just wanted to share some background and thoughts about the nature of
this project and why they are so invested in it. We hope it would be helpful for those
commissioners. You want to kick it off? The Mac thanks a lot for them presenting today.
I just wanted to start off and think the Elford Center at the Harvard Kennedy school because,
that is where we and some others came together and set up a group called defending digital
democracy. In that group is not affiliated to talk about it today formally. But our time
spent there, and all the time that we did together, inspired the idea to set that up
focus on what we want to focus on with the cybersecurity space. And I want to think as
Carter who is the chair of the Belford Center for giving us the opportunity and and Rosenbach
and Debbie Plunkett who is part of our one that couldn’t be here today and I wanted to
thank all of them here and bringing us together before I turn it over, one of the big reasons
why I think that this effort is so important is just highlighting the fact that we have
worked on presidential campaigns. What we are here today and we are trying to do is
a really benefit to presidential campaign as you can read in the newspaper with a lot
of hard dollars and have many opportunities to finance cybersecurity but it is for the
down ballot candidates. People who don’t have as much hard dollars to spend and when you’re
setting up your campaign organization especially at the state level or even the federal level
in the house race when you’re first setting up, first raising those precious hard dollars,
the last thing you want to do is spend them with something to secure your networks in
these emails. And so, why we came together one of the big reasons for me as it’s not
that presidential campaign it’s the little guy campaign that is setting up sometimes
these foreign international threats and even domestic threats can see these rising campaigns
they really have an opportunity to disrupt our democracy you can see some of the many
rising stars coming well in advance people like former President Barack Obama former
President George W. Bush you can see these coming a mile away. And they are very vulnerable
at that stage. And it’s a big reason why I became a part of this and obviously my own
experience which is in here running the Romney campaign and the Chinese threat and the pack
that we had in 2012 so that I was inspired to come back into this. I will let Robbie
speak and talk about some of the other reasons why we think it is so important. Thank you, not. I want to echo our appreciation
here and especially for being patient with us as we work this out and I think it is good
that we are here now today doing this given all the work that has gone and because, I
think that there has been our own rationale thinking behind this has matured as we got
to this process. So thank you for that. Just a follow-up on what Matt was saying. They
came together because they both worked on presidential campaigns that had been affected
by breaches. And, that is how we got connected. The project has been a lot of work with those
officials. But our hands are really tied because it’s a nonprofit institution. It can’t be
with those assistance to campaigns. So I would like to believe that we did everything we
could. We produce a very detailed playbook that explains every step that they can take.
We created a training video and all that is posted online. It doesn’t have value. That
is something that we could do to help. What became immediately clear to us when those
resources were put up was it wasn’t enough into math point, for the little guy campaigning
out there, they still were not in a position to properly secure themselves. They just don’t
have the resources and there are a few things in particular that I wanted to point out where
we think that this entity can make a difference. The first three is monitoring those networks.
That’s a really expensive thing. It can be done at scale at a much lower cost and, in
kind to the campaigns. So, that is one if we are thinking about the issue at first we
are not interested in making money off of this. We are all volunteers here today. And
we’re not looking for any loopholes. But there is just a fact that network monitoring is
if it’s done campaigning it’s not financially feasible. And, the second is incident response.
So, if something has gone wrong and particularly if you have a nationstate actor like North
Korea, you need very sophisticated people to go in and help you and figure out what’s
going on. Again, that is just not something that a small campaign is in a position to
deal with. And the other very practical thing that we ran into is if they are using email
systems and there are security settings that can be pre-toggled for them but they are very
hard to do on their own. And this is part of the problem. We created this playbook and
we are putting an enormous burden on those that have one or two staff. The work is just
not getting done. And so the threat remains. So, I want to add to the list of gratitude
here with Matt is to the campaign legal Center for submitting their marks because I think
that what they’ve done that’s really important is steepness in the context of presenting
foreign meddling. And that really is our objective here. Not interested in similar pole. We just
want to make sure that these foreign nations state actors who are incredibly sophisticated
don’t have an open door to push on to get in to the campaigns and, in particular that
we are securing and including the set of things that I just mentioned that are fairly easy
to do. They just take resources that the campaigns do not have. And the last thing you want to
say is that in case anybody is curious about this, this is truly based on that and a multinational
issue. The Chinese breach, the 2008 campaigns. The 2012 presidential campaigns obviously
we have seen Russia involved in 2016. Not by the way, just with people affiliated with
the presidential campaign but at the house campaign level we have seen reports on the
Republican Party at the house level as well. And, this is multi-candidate. We have seen
attempts to reach members of Congress. And lastly I would say, it’s probably a lot which
we don’t know. And, that’s why to me getting things like network monitoring out there is
so critical. Because, there may be things happening that we don’t know about. So, with
that again, we just really appreciate you hearing us out on the. Thank you. I will turn to my colleagues. Or
discussions. No questions? Okay. I have questions. First, that is a great idea what you have
in mind. We hope that you can get this thing along the road. And you can get this done.
Just out of curiosity, I see that there are some limits being eligible and it seems to
be that some of the people might be cut out because of the way that they have that. And
the amount of money generated. But there are times when somebody was really struggling
out there. At home state Nevada. Not Vegas but other ones. They really don’t have a way
to really communicate that and protect them. So, are those limits hard and fast? I’m sorry. I recognized you. Well, good to see you. So,
a couple things. One of them, is we try to make the criteria as objective as possible.
That’s really important. A couple of things also came here. We didn’t want to limit this
to just Democrats and Republicans. We thought it was really important. And, candidates and
activists who are in either party. We want to have criteria where the third-party candidate
independent candidates could qualify for these services. So that’s one thing that stood out
for us. Secondly we wanted to create criteria where there were multiple ways to qualify.
So, we have the fundraising criteria in the Senate can raise $100,000 but we wanted to
cover all general election candidate no matter how much you may raise. We really thought
that that was important. And then, of course, the national party committees in the presidential
campaign at 5% or higher. Our goal was to try to make the criteria as self-executing
as possible and not have any discretion. So that would be objectively verifiable but also
be inclusive be on just the two major parties because we do view this as a nonpartisan endeavor
the end of the day. Okay. Well, thank you all for coming. I think
that this is going to be very helpful. This discussion and I really appreciate the work
that you are doing on the bipartisan basis to address a very serious that one that I’m
very concerned about the entire commission is. And, a lot of people are. So, I commend
you for these efforts. So, what do you think that the fair market value would be? The services
that you are providing for someone to want to purchase that kind of protection? Anybody?
>>You mean if you purchase on the commercial market? Yes. And, I want to be really clear,
I am a campaign person not a cyber security expert. So, let’s put that out there. When
we were looking at this question, to have true network monitoring so to speak. The putting
sensors in, you know, can be getting into the tens of thousands of dollars for a campaign.
And then, something like incident response can be very much in the trend of thousands
of dollars. Again, if you’re dealing with particularly sophisticated threat. When it
comes to a two or three person operation, I can’t say exactly what that is. We have
had that visibility and I’m sure that Matt had visibility on the Romney campaign. But
again, I think an important point to make is if these campaigns have to go it alone,
I think that the cost is dramatically higher if that makes sense. And, as I said, I am
no cyber security expert. I learned a lot over the last two years. If I was myself 10
years ago running a Senate race and I had to go out and find the cybersecurity vendors
I wouldn’t even know that means. And second of all, I would have no criteria for which
to evaluate. So, I think one of the other benefits of this is hopefully that we are
providing a trusted partner with which the campaigns can make good judgment about all
of this. I would just add first off, I am not a cyber
security expert . Let’s put it on the record. We have no cybersecurity
X. But, when you think about what it would cost
an individual campaign even if it cost $1500 if you are running for office in Nevada and
you’re setting up a campaign, $1500 that is a lot of money and what it does is it immediately
kind of, if your the campaign manager it’s just something that you may want but you can’t
really have. If you are an upstart campaign. And everything is in there for the most part
it is free. At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. So that’s kind of how we
came to the next concept. And, the next format of what we can do setting that up to help
that candidate. And the email systems and networks at home. They just are going to do
it. But it seems to me, that there is something
in between. You are positing that every candidate would be on their own and they would therefore
be buying at top value and it wouldn’t be perhaps well- positioned to find services
and doing what you’re trying to do would be to take advantage of scale as you have suggested
before, make a package of services available across the board. And because you are doing
it for so many people and because you would both be a trusted source but because of the
volume, presumably you can offer it at a reasonably lower cost and the question for the commission
is is it legal? And, the reason why that is a question is because, let’s offer it for
free as opposed to having people pay for it. And I want to make sure that in pursuit of
a very good goal that we do not inadvertently blow a hole through the corporate contribution
ban. That is where I’m coming from. So, I would like to support this endeavor I also
have an obligation to protect the law. So, one question I have is, even the scale at
which you be able to do it couldn’t you just offer this at a reasonable price? And Madam chair, I appreciate that position
my career has in part in there. And, another Democrat over there as well. He would>>Keeps me out of trouble. [Laughter]>>So the last thing I would ever
want to do is create a loophole like that. Particularly, in this space. And, I guess
what I would .2, in particular, is two things. Monitoring these networks and providing incident
response. If somebody is breached, it is weeks, maybe even months of work to really get in
there and figure out what’s going on. And that is enormously expensive. I don’t, aced
on our evaluation, I don’t see a way to package that up. There is a secondary issue that we
have. Which is working with major email providers to create some sort of pre-toggled version
of what they are doing. And, we have encountered in the corporate space is for them to start
doing that is are they triggering some sort of incline by providing a special service
to campaigns? So, again, I appreciate the point that you’re making and for us, it is
the flexibility that we are asking for here at less about that and it’s more about Walmart
and on black Friday where we are just loading everything in the car and this is just about
getting ourselves some flexibility if you need a specialized network, or sensors on
a network, we can just get that done. We at least have the flexibility to get that done.
That’s where I’m coming from. And the other thing at offer is a way of thinking about
this is this is really at the end. I’m not a national security expert. This is warfare.
People are trying to disrupt our democracy and the people the agents that are doing this
our arms are military basically and other countries. So, if campaigns needed military
weapons systems to defend themselves, you know, we would say my gosh we don’t know anything
about that. We are looking at a similar level of sophistication that is the flexibility
to deliver those capabilities when they need them and part of the reason that we have that
is to wash away the interaction that would create the influence that you and frankly,
I would be so concerned about. And Madam chair, if I may, just to build on
this, because, this corporate contribution issue obviously the heart of this, and we
just take that very seriously so we try to design what we were proposing here with a
number of layers of insulation to maintain the integrity of the corporate contribution
and talked about earlier, the objective criteria. The neutral objective criteria. Secondly,
the fact that we really run this organization like a charitable organization even though
this is organized as a C4 we are following the structures for a 501(c)(3) organization.
All of these safeguards are designed to not have this be for the purpose of influencing
an election as Robbie was indicating earlier. We don’t even know the campaigns are going
to be attacked. We don’t know where they are going to be running which party and it’s not
our focus. Of who is going to most need the services. We try to build those layers of
protection and focused around trying to establish that this isn’t for the purpose of influence
a federal election. Not designed to try to influence the outcome of what happens in the
elections. And the other thing, is make this as inclusive as possible beyond just federal
campaigns and committees. We think that’s important. We have begun work over the next
two months with some nongovernment organizations, civic organizations our papers mention a couple
that we have started to work with. I think that our view is, this has got to be an inclusive
process involving government, civic organizations, campaigns and parties. But, have it be as
broad in the universe and that focal point right there but beyond that, this is not just
about elections this is about protecting the democratic process at all levels. So, it is
a long way of saying we have been doing everything possible to insulate this process and that
is one reason why we have needed a little bit of extra time to build out those safeguards
that was the aim of our endeavor. [Captions standing by.] Other any candidates, officeholders, politicians
and insulated from any contact with the funders? Because one potential problem I could see
down the road, and I always have to worry about, okay, if we say, yes, to you, what’s
going to be the next question that is going to be asked? And what other entity out there
might feel empowered by this AO to not even ask, perhaps, and say, Will, based on that
AO, I can go out and do this. One concern that I have is, could this become an opportunity
for people who are trying to curry favor with officeholders? Perhaps officeholders on both
sides of the aisle to give valuable prizes to them in order to have opportunities too,
as I said, influence, perhaps, other policies.>>Mr. Does. Again, thank you. It’s a very good question.
As it relates to fundraising right now, too be honest with you, Matt and I have been waiting
to get a ruling on this until we really proceed with planning in-depth, but I could tell you
two things. Number one, no plans whatsoever to ask elected officials to engage in fund
raising in any way. Secondly, the only donors we have considered for the organization of
an individual and foundations. Lastly, actually, I will add our plan is to make the organization
as lightweight as possible, and to, again, get the resources to the candidates and parties
as directly as possible. So, we hope that the overhead of this organization is not enormous
and that fundraising isn’t an ongoing obligation in the way, for example, went on a campaign
it’s a never-ending process and you have to bring out surrogates and so on to keep that
money coming. Are hope is to design a budget and a fundraising strategy that keeps fundraising
to a minimum, frankly. Sure, Mr. Hoss. I have two unrelated points related to your
question, two points. The first is I want to be clear because it’s something I think
was implicit in something that was said but I want to make it explicit. Neither me nor
my firm nor Michael nor his firm are being compensated to represent this organization.
So when you say there is a lot of money in the organization, and they say they are lightweight,
I cannot think of another instance where I have ever set before the Commissioner, submitted
something before the Commissioner Kevin McAleenan is a pro bono matter, because as I explained
to lots of very — the Commissioner. I do pro bono in other areas but one of the
things I asked before representing in front of the Commission you is that is the business
I am them. If I offer you free legal services, how am I going to tell the next good, where
the organization that I have to charge them. And the exception — And remember that problem. [ Laughter] The exception in 25 years I have made is for
this organization and it costs, frankly, their looking to solve something that goes not to
the threat of money and politics, or the threat of loopholes in the system. They’re going
for something that, frankly, has the capability of under nine those undermining the whole
Democratic election. In that sense it is the most profoundly important work I think I have
ever done for the Commission. Because if, ultimately, as Matt said, if, ultimately,
nationstates are able to pick and choose among the rising stars in the political system,
and essentially strangle them in the crib then there will be no, then we simply won’t
have a functioning democracy. So, I want it to be clear that the statements that were
made about this organization and it’s finances and the involvement, the extent to lawyers
and I hope, Michael, you did not my me revealing that with respect to your firm. Thesecond
point is a more broader policy, which is at various times the Commission has faced the
application of a law that was passed in 1970s to the realities of modern campaigns and technology
and elections and threats and opportunities and the like. And one of the things that I
think that you are always struggling within that area is, how do you remain top how do
you keep –to the statute, while at the same time allowing the statute to breathe and have
that flexibility. And I can’t at various times have urged the commission and other context
too find that room to breathe. I’m not a Telecom lawyer. I know nothing about Telecom. I know
less about Telecom than I do about Cybersecurity. I’m no –about Cybersecurity. I’m always struck
the law written seemingly in the 1930s, 40s, or 50s, whatever it was that’s applied to
the Internet. They have all of these rulemaking’s about things they just couldn’t have imagined
existed. And yet they find ways to build flexibility or regulatory meaning around that. And I think
that where this commission has been at it’s best it does the same thing and where it has
come up short at times is where it’s been I’m — unable to find a way to sort of bring
these sort of concepts from the age of Buckley into the current age, and, you know, I think
that it’s notable that campaign legal Center, which is oftentimes, you know, I would say
on the side of worrying about how that modernization would cut against loopholes. I think it’s
actually notable what their second set of comments are because I think the last time
I remember having this exact sort of discussion –it’s been a while since I went before the
Commission, but while I was both Congress, and we can find in Congress and the supplemental
law, and in this commission in the series of revised opinions have dealt with the question
of convention funding recount and litigation funding and headquarters funding. And I think
I sat here and said, if the Commission can find a way to make this work, the system just
breaks. And when it breaks like any number of things can happen. And I’m not sure that
from the reform Committee standpoint the resolution of that breaking point ended up in a more
satisfactory position than they would have been from their standpoint if the system had
just breathed a little more. Because, obviously, the net result was Congress stepped in and
passed a law which explicitly solved the problem but solved the problem and then some. [ Laughter] Didn’t you have something to do with that? I did. I did. And that –the point is the
Commission has an opportunity to do something and I think COC and others have a chance to
let the statute breathe whether it’s China, North Korea, or Russia fundamentally undermining
democracy, and a fear if the Commission can’t find that space what’s going to come is either
something that’s going to be awful for democracy, or maybe less advantageous to people who are
worried about those like Robbie, like myself, and I know all of the four of you do. And
so, I think that this is like a really good opportunity for this commission to show bipartisan
time where you have literally –these are not your squishy Republicans. Like, I know
how to find those. Like, I’m not going to say but –[Laughter] –if I list of my favorite
Republicans it wouldn’t be, it wouldn’t be — [Laughter] Come on. Those are nice guys. What you talking
about? –and you wouldn’t have Hillary Clinton’s
campaign manager and. It’s an opportunity for this mission to seize this moment and
really do something that advances democracy, and I hope you do so. I hear everything you are saying, but if it
is, one question I have, if it is so important too democracy and it is a national security
issue, and I think it is on both counts, why isn’t the government paying for this? Let me address that. Again, I think that there
is a — Let me rephrase that a second. Didn’t mean
to interrupt you but, obviously, you are not in charge of the government. I’m not in charge
of the government. You are more than I am. While I am a little piece but not the one
that lined this operation but I guess the question really is, would it be better if
it were funded by the government rather than by private sources? Look, I think there are consequences to all
kind of different public policy choices about how things are funded and not. We have a private
funding system around elections. We went from having public funding of conventions, which
I thought was relatively noncontroversial to now having private funding of conventions,
so, that’s a policy judgment that, frankly, is about, certainly above my pay grade. Or
my ability to wish one way or the other. I think though that in some ways the reason
I drew the parallel to the last, to the other top the last –change. In some ways you could
say that was a success, Congress exercising it’s legislative power. The other way to look
at it is to say there are opportunities for the Commission like FCC or SEC to say we will
take this old statue. We are a policymaking body in our own right, we’re going to take
the statutes and put vitality in them to meet the challenges of today. In the same way that
the FCC does, or that you are apparently around cryptocurrency. Which is something that couldn’t
have been contemplated by the statute in the 1970s. I think this is like a really important
moment for the Commission to signal that when two partisans come to you and say, we want
to help Green Party candidates, Libertarian candidates on the same basis we help Democrats
and Republicans. You want to help small R epublicans –small candidates and –. The
same way we wanted to help them in Chicago. I think that that’s an important moment for
the Commission, and that could also be an important moment for the branches of government.
I don’t think changes that. So, I’m going to ask one more question and
turn it over to you Commissioner Walther. So, that kind of goes to it not –to bring
it back to the law again, because it’s a nice idea to breathe vitality into the law, but
ultimately it is to provide that breathing space just so far I can go given the words
the statute b ook. And what you said it seems to me goes to an argument that these services
would not be for the purpose of influencing an election but the more difficult question
is, how is this not in connection with an election, which we also kind of have to get
by. Either of the lawyers. I will take a first stab at it and you will
have more to offer. A couple of things, first, I think you are absolutely right, two issues
always on the table and we’ve done everything, we tried as hard as we could to correct the
record that this is not for purpose of influencing a federal election, that this is non-partisan
in terms of how are organization’s s tructure, the objective criteria, and how inclusive
the process is. So, really we are aiming at for the purpose of influencing standard. In
terms of influence with those as you know occasionally in the past, a number of times
in the past the commissions really wrapped up that analysis within for the purpose of
influencing federal election analysis. For example third millennium AO some years ago,
as I recall, there was an independent consideration or evaluation of the in connection with issue
was really wrapped up in the larger for the purpose of influencing a federal election
standards. That’s the first thing I would offer. Second of all, like we outlined in
our comments is that this is a broader endeavor than just working with federal campaigns and
committees. We think that’s really important. This involves civic organizations, non-governmental
organizations, governmental organizations, and so to the extent that the Commission focuses
on the in connection with Alice’s the fact this is a really broad Universe of organizations
and entities that the DS is working with we think that’s important. We think that’s significant,
and also we think it’s important for the organization to be effective as part of the programmatic
mission of the organization. And to go to you’re point, we are sensitive to these two
issues. We’ve done a lot of work over the last few months to try to safeguard our operations
with those two legal issues in mind. And so, that’s how we have approached them. Mr.Allows
you may have additions. Before that I want to ask for point of clarification.
Did you say you would also offer these services to governmental organizations? Welcome we interact and work with them. We’ve
had discussions with them and have worked with them along with civil — civic organizations
and nongovernmental, and in comments we mentioned Truman Center for national policy and Hudson
Institute as some non- governmental organizations we have been working with. I was wondering based on your comment whether
you had to offer the same package of services too, and I’m just curious to actual governmental
organizations? I don’t know State and local governments? Do want to talk about interaction with governmental
organizations? Madame Chair is going to make a point because
I thought you raised a important point. Why not the government? And I’m kind of a realist,
and I think we probably have a different viewpoint but to get beyond why not the government? I like to think of myself as a realist. We
may disagree on other things. Right now the rent isn’t stepping and helping
companies. There the reality Robbie and I have seen on both sides of the aisle, you
find skepticism among those that run campaigns both on the left and the right to whether
or not they were want government to step in and try to help make their networks more secure.
The way Robbie has talked about. I think that that provided a need and an opportunity for
us to come together. I wanted to go back to that point and I don’t know, Robbie? I well add-on to that and sort of answer both
questions, I think the first thing to underscore what Matt said is I think today given a lot
of different factors it’s not happening A, and B, the campaigns, there would be barriers
to entry potentially from the campaigns. It is what it is, if we are in a realist scenario.
I believe, however, that this organization because it is bipartisan, because it is trusted
by the campaigns, ideally, because it will be Board members will be real partisans who
are able to communicate with there respective communities, that we can actually begin to
change there culturally top and we can be a catalyst to create a better, more productive
symbiotic relationship between the government agencies that in theory are supposed to be
providing protection. And the campaigns. Look, Matt and I can’t to be frank, have a different
point of view on the role government should play. I have written about this publicly,
so you can go read that. It is possible that as a result of this organization, and as a
result of the better relationship, and maybe that the organization is no longer needed
at some point. I think Matt and I would agree on this, maybe for different reasons. I think
it would be nice if this did not have to exist at all. It’s just not a problem, and Physical
Security didn’t used to be something the government provided, and it does today. So, we have different
viewpoints on where we will get. I believe, no matter where you think we need to go, I
think this organization can help to speed that up. As it relates to government entities
and election officials, in particular, we been a lot to the Bell presenter for elected
officials that’s been really productive. They have made clear that they want to create separation
between them and campaigns, which I think is entirely understandable. So, we especially
did not put the election infrastructure in here. It’s just for complaints. Mark? If I can address –. You could probably write a treaties in connection
with an election. If you look, obviously at what the Federal Election Campaign Act was
intended by Congress to be, you wind up with an in connection with an election test the
looks dramatically different than what as the result of various Supreme Court decisions
and other i nterpretations, the Act looks like today. I mean, in some sense relying
on in connection with an election proves to much, because you know, the State of Virginia
setting up polling locations is an expenditure in connection with an election, be at the
FTC doesn’t tell the State of Virginia it can’t do it. So, it’s –and if an incorporated
city in New York, which most cities in New York are Inc., most villages in New York are
incorporated puts out, you know, commandeered schools to hold elections in them you don’t
say, well that’s a corporate expenditure because it’s in connection with an election, even
though, as you know, State unlike Federal Government are not exempt from the contribution
list. Too have an incorporated town. I think are going down the rabbit hole of, in connection
with divorce from the purpose of influencing opens up –it just proves to much. I’m in
the in connection with by itself would roll back huge chunks of the commissions existing
regulations, all of one or 9. 21, 20 whatever the — 21, one of the parties and one is nonparty.
But the whole purpose of captaining certain speech outside of 90 days or outside of 120
days of an election was recognition there is stuff going to be in connection with an
election in some sense. I mean, but it’s not for the purpose of influencing and e lection.
So, I worry about that doctrinally I think that creates a little bit a problem, but beyond
that, the purpose of, you know, and I say this is a good and loyal Democrat who grew
up with Chevron deference, and, you know, believe in it. The role of the Federal Agency
is to put meat on those bones, and from my vantage point the in connection with language,
and for the purpose of influencing l anguage, the Supreme Court has set a seal to what that
can mean. It get me more than a certain thing, but this agencies, wide latitude underneath
that ceiling and underneath that constitutional ceiling to determine whether something is
in connection with an election or not, or recount an action of election as you recall
prior to the change in the law, that the Commission took a position with respect to funding become.
There’s district in connection with re-election. Commission has taken various, is ballot access,
getting on the ballot? Defending a lawsuit against Fox News against a former Senate candidate
in connection with an election? In other words the Commission has a lot of territory, a lot
of ground that it can cover to decide that something is not for the purpose of influencing
and election, we’re not in connection with an election. If a perspective Republican candidate
travels to Washington DC to meet with a male role group and also to meet with NRCC, is
that in connection with an election? The Commission could say, no, it’s not in connection with
an election because the primary purpose of the trip was this other thing, we’re going
to give primacy to that. I think the in connection with language, rather than causing trouble,
troubling me, it’s actually, it is what I keep describing as allowing this commission
to give vitality and breathe life into this statute, because that’s the kind of language
that lets you look at something. Too say, know what, we are here because we are experts,
we are simply going to say that in this time, in this need, this is not for the purpose
of influencing or in connection with an election. And so, to me, rather than being troubling,
I think that’s actually the enabling language that allows you to grant what they have asked
for. Is that because that’s what the words mean?
Or we can just say that’s what the words mean? I think that the Supreme Court has told you
what those words can’t mean. It can’t mean more than something. Underneath that is where
you get to as an administrative Agency, you get to apply the experiences and the judgments
that the Commission has gathered, and I have, you know, Madame Chair, you have been quite
elegant those eloquent on issues of foreign money for an involvement in elections, so
I know this is something that is in your area of interest and expertise, as it is the entire
commission. And you have sitting before you two campaign operatives, I hope that’s not
an insult, who had played those who have done that at the highest levels, at the mid-levels,
and the smallest most grassroots levels, and they are you telling you how to –how the
experiences of real life should judge whether something is for the purpose of influencing
or is in connection with, and they are telling you it’s not. They are telling you it is not
for the purpose of influencing and election. It for the purpose of inventing foreign interference
in strangling democracy. They are telling you it’s not in connection with an Alexa.
They’re telling you it’s connection with protection. In the same way Physical Security would be.
In the same way that something else would be, and that’s within your authority to do
it. Like a sect of the fact the campaign legal Center, the campaign legal Center does not
typically endorse views that I have espoused. [ Laughter] I think that’s fair. Nor may. [Laughter] It sort of reminds me –. This is a rare moment for the Commission to
bask in that consensus that you are here. [Laughter] Thank in. Do you have another question, Walther? It’s hard to beat that. I think and we all
recognize that this is a very important thing, and tried to see how we can work it and figure
out something, but, and I was going to ask you, and ask you before you spoke so highly
of the campaign legal Center, I’ve seen your comments. How do you feel about them, the
points that they raised? Thank you, Commissioner Walther. First of all as Mr. Elias indicated, we welcome
your comments and we welcome their support, because they are very active before this Agency,
and they often don’t concur with the things that Mr. Elias and I want to do, so we are
basking in that momentary detente. We will see how long it lasts, but a couple of things.
As we see it, there are independent grounds for the Agency to approve the advisory opinion.
We’ve been laying out one ground, which will be concluding this is not for purpose of influencing
and federal a lexicon not in connection with an electric, and obviously have approached
the advisory opinion in the framework. Legal Center is advancing a pentagram for approval
and focusing on law enforcement, protecting the integrity of the foreign national ban
in American elections. And we respect that. We respect the viewpoint the campaign legal
Center is articulating, so we see it as an independent ground. It’s novel. I will confess,
it’s a novel ground but we respect it. So, I think that’s how we see it. If there’s independent
ways for the Agency to approve this matter, if you decide that’s how you want to come
out. We done that a little bit with respect to
the Sergeant of arms one we provided a method to provide security. A little out of the normal
daily work. This is one like that that’s in regards. I think that’s right, I think that’s right,
Commissioner. Now, I’ve to point out in the Sergeant at
arms case we said they could use campaign funds. We didn’t say you are being physically
threatened; therefore, you can accept free services from security companies, so it’s
not necessarily a good precedent for. Did you want too –? Commissioner Hunter. Go ahead. Go ahead. This has been an interesting exchange. Thank
you to all of you for coming. I just listened to everything you said. I agree with everything
all of the commenters have stated today, and I just see absolutely no evidence that anything
you are doing is for the purpose of influencing and election, or I don’t even see that argument,
and so, for me, it’s an easy call. I respect where my colleagues are coming from. I’m willing
to work with him but as Mr. Elias states, there’s been many times we have said something
in my mind is closer to an election than this. We said it is fine. I think the recount AO
is something you’re talking about, there’s a lot of other ones. This is so far attenuated
from that in my mind, particularly, because it’s a bipartisan effort to have objective
criteria for campaigns to get involved. It just for me is a very easy question, and a
rare opportunity to do something to stop foreign influencing in elections, which obviously
all of us favor. I think the notion that a government would get involved in this sort
of work, I agree with what Mr. Rhodes said you don’t know of a single campaign, especially
on the Republican side that would turn their computers over to the government. And I know
even State election to fill a those officials dealing with voting machines are adamantly
opposed to doing so, and many of them will fight to the end to avoid that. For the notion
of that working is really far-fetched, and doesn’t really support the federalism that
we have all does that we all live with, so, I think that this is a terrific idea. I am
in support of draft a to the extent that the CLC comment is something the requesters have
supported. I’m willing to support that with some edits, relatively minor edits we’ve shared
with our colleagues yesterday afternoon. We’re willing to support that with some edits at
the appropriate time. Thank you, Madame Chair. We appreciate all
of your presence here with the comment you delivered both written and also here. I think
you made a very strong case for wind advisory opinion to be issued on this particular questions,
for many of the reasons Commissioner Hunter mention, I also support Draft A, the fact
it’s being offered nonpartisan basis, criteria to establish you can participate. The fact
it has a broader mission than just candidates and parties also to specific organizations,
non-governmental organizations, but the reason I believe the analysis of this not being for
the purpose of influencing an election or in connection with an election is correct,
therefore would not be a contribution. I would support that. If you don’t have four boats
for that, and there’s a desire to look at the independent basis regarding the preventing
violations of the foreign national prohibition that section 3121, certainly open to working
with my colleagues on that. We’ve had further discussions, and from, hopefully I’m not overstating
it but from those discussions I have some optimism that we could arrive at yes, but
I just want to stay what my position is and indicate my willingness to work with my colleagues.
It will be great if we could even wrap that up today we have requesters here with us so
that they can get an answer too there question. Let me ask one other question. You are organized
as C4 and not C three? That is correct, Madame Chair. Do I have to worry about this turning into
a lobbying organization, you know, based on –I just kind of and perplexed as to why it’s
not up C3. Madame Chair, two things. As you know, in
our organizational documents we have require the organization to operate consistent with
being 501(c)3 entity in terms of no intervention in federal elections within the meaning of
the C3 prohibition. I am not aware of any lobbying efforts the organization is planning,
Robbie, any comments you want to offer on that? I’m not aware of any such plans or activities. No plans. Any comment on why you chose C4 rather than
C3? I think that there are obviously greater restrictions
on 501(c) 3’s with respect to cost because of the tax-deductible contributions. We plan
–the organization is going to operate as a C3, programmatically as a C3. The question
of whether or not the IRS would believe that the organization met the definition of 501(c)
3 was a complex enough question. They may very will have. They may not have. You are
in a greater State of limbo in that circumstance than doing what we did here, which is, essentially,
seek too just –we simply are a C4 that is operating us. I hear you. I am looking to see –will, this is what I
am going to suggest. I am not comfortable with Draft A. I think that each of us have
looked at the comment that was submitted by CLC and thought that could be a basis for
moving forward, but we each had our own thoughts as to language that we would like to see tweaked
in there. Obviously, we would have to have a final document on blue paper for us to vote
on, and we don’t have that at this moment. And we have a couple of other requesters who
have been patiently waiting to have their AOs d iscussed, so what I’m going to suggest
to my colleagues is that we move on to the other AOs and then take a recess and, perhaps,
come back to I’m guessing at 2:00, something like that to give us time to go back through
that third alternative and see if there is someplace where Commissioners could land.
Would that work for folks? Mr. Vice Chair? Yes, Madame Chair, I think that is a constructive
suggestion. I think the other requesters, I think would appreciate we dispose of their
matters while we go to those negotiations, but I appreciate that we might be able to
get this done today while we have requesters here, and that this matter which is for a
variety of reasons have been extended to a number of months that we might be able to
not have to extend even another few weeks, so I think that that’s a very good suggestion
to work further on to see if we cannot craft a census. And hopefully we will be able to provide it
to the requesters with at least a little bit of time to read through it and see if they
want to provide us with any comment on any ultimate draft where we thought we might land.
Hunter? I don’t know if the requesters are going to
become I’m back at –to be able to come back at 2:00. They have other clients and that
sort of thing. In the event I’m just asking you, would you rather come back at 2:00? Do
this at the next open meeting? Or our they’re issues we want to discuss on what we can call
a compromised draft we want to ask them now while they are you’re not have to come back
at 2: 00? I think as I said earlier, the edits that we made to the CLC draft we’re relatively
minor. I’m happy to talk about them if you have questions for them now, you guys want
to come back? Or come back another day? For a few minutes can we, as? Yes, absolutely. Why you do that I will say
in regards to my colleague’s question, I’m not decline to try to write the document at
the table. I’ve never found that to be the best way to get a well-crafted document done,
but we will recess for a couple of minutes here. [The event is on a brief recess.] [Captions Standing By] F0 Okay, back from our little recess. Requesters
have informed me that rather than wait around and see what happens at 2:00 they prefer too
just hold it over for the next meeting in two weeks, even though that will be take the
kids to work day. The kids will be very entertained by that, I am sure. I just have a couple of
more questions for you. You made a very compelling case and requesters plainly sincere and thoughtful,
and you have very eloquent attorneys who are very persuasive. We just ask a couple of more
questions. One is, I hear what you are saying about small, for some candidates, up and comers
don’t have a lot of resources, but the parties have a lot of resources, so, why not have
the national parties committees provide this service for all of their candidates? I think –I’m going to speak for the Democratic
side, obviously, can speak for the Republican side. I think the challenge parties tend to
face are we tend to face is the leadership does first of all the party is fragmented
into multiple parties, Draft A, B, the leadership of those parties change every few years, and
C, you will be shocked to hear, there’s politics. And so. I am sure. And so, in the same way that I would love
to say we will just go to the FBI, to The Department Of Homeland Security, have a conversation
explain vulnerabilities, they will come to the campaigns and fix everything I would love
to be able say the national Committee or company Committee can sit in a room, work out a budget,
deploy it out and there is no problems. We’ve had a lot of discussions about what’s realistic.
Frankly, given the threat and the urgency, it’s just not realistic and I wish that was
the case. Matt and I can’t begin speak for the Democrats I, we’ve been doing everything
we can, we got to this point because it just wasn’t enough. In the breaking point for me
was when a house campaign was breached this year in California, the Democratic side, and
it was utterly preventable, and so, again, I will be the first one here to today say
if this did not need to exist in five years, that’s terrific. We’ve done our job. We got
into a better place. For the next few years from the Democratic side, we need this. I would just add the campaign committees on
Republican and Democratic side are very helpful. Are of Isabel for center especially disturbing
the campaign playbook we did, back to being a realist, I don’t know that these amenities
Draft A would that be resources to do it. The national party Committee seem to have
healthy budgets. We could debate that but I still don’t think
they would have resources to do this and just like I think Robbie was kind of making this
point about the point I made about the Federal Government being involved looking at network
drives, there would be Republicans running for office across this country that I don’t
think would be in tune with Republican Party officials at the national level going too
there commuters –computers, and I think that would be the same on the Democratic side as
well. Some eggs do you think they’d be comfortable with your folks doing it? I think I guess, it would be more comfortable.
Would everyone be comfortable? Of course not, of course not, but I think more with. Isn’t the Kennedy school sort of associated
with that nefarious liberal elite Eastern institution? I want to thank the bell for center again. [ Laughter] I would also.out this is a factual matter.
Obviously, the requests covers Independence and third-party candidates as well. Okay. The one not often associated with minor parties.
If it is important just as a factual matter that solving this for the two major national
parties would not necessarily solve it for Independence or money partners –parties. Can I make a quick thought on this is that
the other thing we encountered is if parties themselves try to go to providers and begin
talks, particularly customized support there’s immediately an issue around favoring one party
over another. I think this actually provides a way to create the custom tools and support
that campaigns need that doesn’t actually on the other end create the appearance of
favoritism by an entity. That will be just another thing I would put out there. I think
we would move faster a getting what we need to this vehicle. And then look, I would say
this, without favor to either party, I think this also means everyone in any party will
have the same access to the same things right-of-way; therefore, I think we are creating a more
even playing field. Level playing field, are we about to do that?
Sounds good to me. Commissioner Walther do you have anything? I was going to say –don’t know if available
after next Thursday but I think this is a great program, and it wouldn’t work if the
parties for the various reasons you mentioned, you wouldn’t get the same receptivity from
the people who are Independence or other people that are actively involved. This is a great,
I think, format for a method in which to do it. I was going to ask you, how are the leaders
–there is three people now who will be on the Board now, right? Who will be choosing
the next B oard? How is the composition of the people who are running the Agency going
to be selected? Excuse me, I use of the word Agency, I mean
entity. Do you mean sort of the staff? Matt and I
talked about this briefly but I think we would seek to find staff incredibly non-partisan
actually incredibly expert in the area, and, unfortunately, Deborah — could not be here
but former Director at –I basically Cybersecurity at NSA and she’s an important part of this
triad pick if we are representing the parties, she’s representing the expertise. I think
that is where we will really lean on her to provide assistance and identify the right
tele. I didn’t mean so much who the people were
but just the structure, the governing structure for the future. You have a Board of five.
Is it going to be bigger? We have a Board of three. We have Board of
three and can serve –terms. Robbie and Matt are serving along with Deborah Plunkett as
well. And then they get selected by [Indiscernible
-low audio] or something like that? That’s right, that’s right, Commissioner. So, one last question for the lawyers. Assuming
we find a place before Commissioners can land, what comfort can you give me as exactly the
kind of smart lawyers who are always looking for a way to –your clients that this will
not become something that smart lawyers will use to try and broaden the opportunities for
undermining the corporate contribution [Indiscernible -low audio]? While I think, Madame Chair, I think a couple
of things. First, clearly, advisory opinion is limited to the very nature of the particular
factual circumstances of each matter and we take that very seriously, and this is clearly
a unique matter, any proposal before you. So the first point advisory opinion by the
very nature are self-limiting and that way. Secondly, I do think the Agency over the years
there has been some extra language that has been –and advisory opinions to make that
more clear than it otherwise would be. And that might be appropriate here. Referred to
the Commissioners in terms of how they ultimately way into this matter. I think I finally, are
focus is trying to attack this problem, you know, and get, and if we do get the approval
to get going, trying to provide the support in this area, but I do think by the very nature
of an advisory opinion it is self-limiting to the particular facts of our organization
and the activities were proposing engaging. I do think the Commission has added extra
language sometimes in these unique advisory opinions to make that clear. And if you chose
to do that in this matter, obviously, we would respect that. Do you want to add anything, Mr. Elias? I mean, I don’t have anything really does
brilliant to add to that. It’s not –it may be that I am less creative than — That’s not my experience with you, Mr. Elias. This advisory opinion doesn’t seem like it’s
opening much in that direction, like I’m not sure I know where one would go with it if
one we’re trying to build this into a broader loophole. Just have sometimes been surprised in the
past. As I said, yeah. A question, is there something you have in
mind, Madame Chair, your concerned about a particular? Because I have the same sentiment
and have on this AR. It’s already been –and significantly would want to be –on suggested
other language reiterating that. I would agree to something but not something that contradicts
the statute that says other people similarly situated can rely on this, so I want to anything
that violates that and not suggesting Mr. Toner is suggesting to do so. But do you have
something a particular you are concerned about? I’m wondering all this time it there is a
case in your mind, or a situation you are particularly concerned about? Just a long history of things that seem reasonable
at the time and somebody else comes along and says, ha, now that they said that I can
do this, and that he gets to an enforcement context. Low and behold there are four boats
to do anything about it. It’s nothing in particular, just years of experience. [Captioners transitioning]>>We have to see if it is feasible .
And we do want to have this opportunity. We need to look at the draft and the consensus
as soon as possible . If not today early tomorrow. Do you think we can do that? As soon as possible. That would provide an opportunity , and if
they say it is great , we could put it on the tally vote. And you would not have to
come back to the next public meeting.>>That is a possibility but I want to make sure it
is on the public record. So they can weigh in on it. Okay . Hearing no other comments or questions
. We will hold this over until the next meeting . So we can try to find a place where the
commissioners can learn. Thank you so much for all of your time and your thoughts. And
for your efforts to solve a very serious problem. I want to thank all of you for your time and
attention. For your questions and your comments . I have been in this situation where I am
the next requester , so thank you for allowing all of this. I offer my thanks. We appreciate having a chance to hear from
Matt and Robbie . We do appreciate that our clients are here today. Thank you so much because it has been extremely
helpful to have this conversation. We talked about, how much time they put into
all of this I think you. In the spirit of bipartisanship, we have many
associates sitting next to Michael. Michael I am so sorry I did not want to offend anybody.
But thank you all very much. Thank you. We appreciate your patience . The other requesters,
for the next item on the agenda is 2019- 04 .>>Mr. Harden? Good morning. We will begin . Are you okay? We will begin
with a presentation by Mr. Polson. Thank you and good morning commissioners.
This is document [Indiscernible] drafted to request for Britney LLC . This is going to
enable users to make contributions to the national political committees. The requester
asked several questions regarding the applicability of the app in the relations . The draft concludes
that both of the provision of contribution services and individual users for political
committees and social networking services that do not result in contributions by Britney.
Because Britney satisfies the criteria of the commander vendor. And in the ordinary
force of business, normal charges for such services. Contributions to [Indiscernible]
give employees adequate procedures to make sure they are not forwarding legal procedures
. As they are acting as a commercial firm they are not subject to any recording requirements
. And finally the draft concludes best practices as described in the request, comply with the
applicable will of authorities. We have not received any comments on the request and I
will be happy to address any questions you Thank you Mr. Polson.>>Since we have counsel
here I want to give you the opportunity if you have any questions or comments for the
commission at this time? You waited so long.>>Thank you for this
opportunity and I want to thank you for your consideration in this request. We had a tutorial
this morning on SEC legal matters. So the time spent, was interesting to me. One thing
I do want to say is I want to thank the staff. They were very helpful . I am not a FCC lawyer
and I do want to look at the concerns that they had and also the feedback. For my clients
business proposition and it was very well received and I appreciate that. Thank you . I am always glad to hear confirmation
from the outside with on things that we see always on the inside. Take you so much counsel. Do we have any further questions or any motions? Mdm. chair, this is brought by Britney LLC
. This is known as draft A .>>We ask for approval . Are there any questions or discussions
on this motion? All in favor? And the motion carried unanimously. Congratulations. You
were obviously persuasive.>>We did get good guidance from the general staff. We appreciate getting an easy one sometimes. The next item on the agenda is 2019-06 Lee
Brown .>> Welcome counsel . We will begin with the presentation
by Ms. Walker . Good morning and thank you commissioners.
We have alternative draft responses to the advisory
opinion request. Ground is a candidate in the upcoming election for North Carolina.
This is for the communication period that will begin April 14. This is real estate business
that is incorporated in North Carolina. And radio ads are identified by name. The request
asked whether these existing ads should be exempted from the definition for elections.
And if not opposed to these ads. And draft A say they are not entitled to the exemption.
They are not technically related to the election . And that they are entitled to an exemption,
because there is not an opposed candidate. And both drafts the ads would not be election
ants because they do not identify the candidate. I will be happy to answer any questions.>>Mdm.
Chair I do not think your microphone is on. We have a brand-new fancy building but sometimes
the technology does not work. I am substantially in agreement with draft A all the with respect
to the alternative versions to the ads, I am not persuaded that changing it to Lee Brown
and Associates when the ads are voiced by the same individual who has been voicing ads
for this company for 13 years. And Addie the word, Associates, make it is substantially
different for the analysis . Changing the I to We does make it different from the analysis
under question number one. So I think even the alternative versions would fall under
the election communication provisions. If somebody else would voice the ad with the
same text with the alternative version I think that would move it a step further away from
the candidate . And it would satisfy me. So that is where I am. And that is different
from the Darrell president. Because there were actually two acts , and the candidate
was not in fact a guy that was running the company at that point. And that was a good
decade . I think it was close but not quite. So that is where I am. I do not know if anybody
else wants to weigh in on this. There was a question that came in late . I
want to give you an opportunity to give you an late draft and in the other observations.
For the questions. Thank you Mr. Vice Chairman. We would be happy
with other drafts but we do prefer draft B . But we could go with drafts A with the alternative
version . I think the version of the I and voice , where the court concluded that the
Voss did not [Indiscernible]. When the boy says we, Lee Brown Associates would like to
be your realtor. I think Virginia has already addressed that. The I identified voice , is
overwhelming there is evidence that the voice is clearly not identified. There was the argument,
when Mr. Noti, said to the judge, everybody knows the presidents voice . And the judge
said, I don’t. And unless you can show me that everybody knows that person’s voice it
is not clearly a candidate unless the radio identifies the candidate. So the alternatives
are not election communication at least in the accordance to the judgment for Hispanic
leadership . I urge you to reread that opinion. Because we might be in a position to seek
a TRO . And the election does open up on Sunday and the clan does not know which ad they can
run for their business.>>If there is one way to discourage business owners from running
for Congress this is going to do it. Before you run for Congress and if you need to stop
running ads , or you need to change your advertising , that will discourage people from running
for Congress and I do not think that is what Congress intended when they pass this. Mdm. Chair ?>>The facts that are presented
in this case, we know that the format is proposed to use in the election window it is the same
format in terms of wording and structure. As used for 13 years . There are catchphrases.
And identifying issues that important to the state real estate market. To me that address
the concerns if somebody wants to use their company and all of a sudden change radically
and the focus of the ads, for the geographic ads, the founder of the company, to get your
real estate services provided by Lee Brown . I think under different circumstances I
think that would be a different question for a different day. But if we had a particular
format, for a particular individual, and that there is no evidence they are being manipulated
or changed in order to elevate her candidacy. That is unspoken or in an unsettled way. To
me that was what was persuasive. That is what I wanted to put out for draft B . I am willing
to support the current proposal as well as the alternate versions . I hope we can land
on the alternates . But I just want to express where my thinking is.
And I am ready to support draft B . I too am supporting draft B. If this is something
the commission is not able to agree and at least part on, it would discourage people
from running for political office. Somebody who ran a business for many years before they
run for a candidacy and now they are not allowed to operate their business, to me it seems
that it does not make sense to me whatsoever. We do have the ability to state that somebody
does meet that election requirements. And this is clearly presented in both drafts , A
and B . I support draft A .>>
One thing that maybe I can offer a compromise, that might satisfy you. I think there was
language in draft B that describes the situation and what might not be applicable . I think
we could pull some of the language from some of that language from draft B and put it into
draft A . Looking at the alternative version that this is a unique circumstance. Not every
business owner has voiced their own radio ads themselves. I think this is unique. And
in fact I think that language is that — As Jason looks for that I need to talk about
the fact that she has been doing this for 13 years. But she wrote these advertisement
prior to being a candidate . So truly it had nothing to do with her candidacy see. And
she just speaks . She went to great lengths to find a completely separate vendor to handle
her campaign. Or anything to do with her real estate business at all. The commission considered
this previously. There is marked [Indiscernible] that was intertwining. So as here , she always
ends her interview by saying when ever I in an interview I always say, I want to be your
realtor. That was suggested in draft A alternative so perhaps we could provide language. The language appears on page 8 line number
three. This includes the ads that will not promote or attacked her opponents. In similar
ads for the last 13 years . I am not saying the last sentence, which is confusing on line
6. But if you are going to adopt draft A and the alternative of the ad stressing it is
unique because they do not promote nor support the candidate. And there is a long history
of the same ad. Again online nine , this is the unique facts. I am wandering Mme. A , if
we could bring that into draft A alternatives and in light of the Hispanic decision.>>I
appreciate the fact that it does not appear that these ads were going to move up her candidacy.
But on the flipside of that, the fact that she has been recording these ads for her own
company that bears her own name for 13 years to me and makes it more likely will associate
her name with her. The language in the draft, B alternative version, it clearly identifies
the candidate. I have a hard time seeing a strong distinction. Whether it says Lee Brown
and Associates. I understand. I think you came out the opposite
of where the court came out of the Hispanic leadership. I remember it well. I hear your concern but I think that Kurt
is the grease with you. Unless you have prove all you have a suspicion be as this voice
has been associated with this real estate company and everybody knows it is Lee Brown
who is a candidate for Congress . If the federal judge in Alexandria Virginia can not identify
the voice of Barack Obama , how could a average listener in North Carolina say that is the
voice of the realtor that wants to be a candidate for Congress. Everybody in Alexandria Virginia
did not know the president . I think you are taking a leap when you do not have factual
basis on what you say. Thank you for your opinion.>>Like I said
to somebody else , what is that noise? Construction across
the street.>>As I said, if it was somebody else’s voice I think it would solve the problem
for me. But that is where I am.>>What was the last thing you said? If it was somebody else’s voice, not Lee Brown,
is somebody else recorded the ad and said we are Lee Brown and Associates that would
do it for me. So under your theory just because somebody
else is saying you know it still has the candidate’s name in it It is about the voice and the context in the
ad.>>It only does if that is the person talking? In this context, this individual has been
voicing ads for her company that has her name for 13 years , yes I think so. Peterson said it would not clearly reference
that she is a candidate.>>Presumably if it is somebody else who works for the company,
they could say we and Lee Brown Associates.>>I get it that you do not agree with me. I am just trying to understand the difference.
>>What is the difference? I think the facts are here. Maybe we cannot
make a headway on this issue. But I agree . How can we expect everybody to know who
that is, it could be a different name. It could be the same name but a different person.
Who knows ? It is unrealistic . When Jimmy John ran ads, they ran an ad that
sounded like Bill Clinton’s voice . What the average viewer know that it was an MP is impersonator?
You are making a decisions based on what someone voice sounds like and assuming who is speaking
. You are drawing a line that I do not think Congress intended here.>>If her daughter
read the script, and her daughters voice happen to sound alike does that matter ? How different
does the voice have to sound from the candidate? To read the ad and that be okay? I do not
think, 70 also works for the business. Many voices sound similar. Who is going to determine
if the voice sounds similar? You start to ask a lot of the candidate to decide, I am
going to choose Jen because it does not sound like mine. I think you are drowning a fine
line that is not part of the First Amendment.>>You are coming up with the examples. I
think somebody else should do the ad and I did not ask if the boys should not sound like
the candidate’s voice.>>Mr. Vice Chairman? ? Would it be useful for you if somebody else
read that?>>Could we have a minute because we probably should call the client and ask.
Do you think we could have a recess? We will have a recess.>>[ Session is on
a break . Captioner standing by ]>>Okay. We are back. Mr. Kandinsky , did you have
a chance to talk to your client ? Unfortunately our client is at a funeral and
we can not contact her.>>I am going to make my motion on draft B first and we will see
if we can get closer to a consensus. In consideration to the 20 1906 submitted by Lee Brown . This
is . This is been submitted by Lee Brown. Set forth
as the agenda document. Do we have any discussion on the question? If not I will call the question.
All in favor?>>So this failed .>>Mr. Vice Chairman?>>Thank you Mdm. 10 . I would like
to make a motion with respect to draft A on questions two and three. For the alternatives
from the requester . I understand the motion to approval for question
two and three in draft A . That is 19-14-A . I reviews this as Hispanic leadership , and
there were eight words . This is not a paragraph where the candidate does identify herself.
As she states her name and that is why I will not be able to support this motion.>>[ No
audio ]>>We are back. We made a motion before we went to recess
we consulted with Mr. Walter . We are going to drop the motion that we have made. I would
like to go over the motion that I may before we went on recess.>>So are you going to
withdraw your motion? Yes, he is going to withdraw his motion.>>Commissioner
Walther has moved approval . Is there any discussion on this motion? I
will just say that I am not going to support the motion but I would support the alternative.
The proposed alternate would not be a lectionary communication if it was voiced by somebody
else. So the motion is on the table. All in favor? I’ll opposed? The motion fails .
Vice Chairman , and myself vote against. I make a motion to approve answers in draft
A , questions 2 and 3 . 2019-406 . Did I say draft A? I thought that is what you said. Vice Chairman has moved the approval to answers
to question two and three. This is document [Indiscernible] there we have a discussion
on the motion? All in favor? Any opposed? Motion fails as a vote 3 to 1 . Does anybody want to make any other motions?
I indicated my views . I will not ask anyone else to make a motion on my behalf. My views
are clear. I hope it was helpful to the requester and I am sorry we were not able to provide
guidance that she seeks.>>Is there any way we can get a closeout letter of this afternoon
so we can go to court for communication this weekend? Certainly we can do something. We will certainly accommodate that. Thank you.>>Mr. staff director do we have
any news? We do not.>>And in that case the open meeting
is now adjourned.

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