The chairwoman of the federal agency responsible for overseeing the nation's campaign finance laws has suggested that federal authorities should help Americans to make "thoughtful" political contributions.
The comment came during a Thursday meeting of the Federal Election Commission. The agency was considering whether to issue an advisory decision for an organization called "Democracy Rules" that created a game-like platform for making political contributions.
According to the rules of the platform, participants vote for one of a few issues in a given category, like immigration, that matter the most to them. Democracy Rules then identifies non-profit organizations or candidates likely to support the objectives of the winning side, and individuals pledge cash — as little as a dollar — in order to receive a vote on who should receive the money. In the last round, participants vote on whether to send the pooled funds to the winning organization or candidate.
The FEC's three Republicans voted to issue an advisory opinion of approval, while the three Democrats voted against granting permission.
"Yes, I believe the American people are intelligent enough to make decisions," said Democratic FEC chairwoman Ann Ravel. "But many of them also contribute to ... sham PACs, over which we have no control. So in some cases, there's a necessity for protection for some people to ensure that they're not, that they're able to make thoughtful, fair decisions."