Campaigner in chief

Dear Donald –

I saw that you’ve already filed for reelection with the FEC. Maybe this is just to get the paperwork out of the way, but it could have a chilling effect on nonprofits and federal employees. 

If you’re already a candidate, then any speech or statement about you could be spun as political action. For 501(c)(3) non-profits, any public statements criticizing you or your policies could be used by a vindictive man in charge of the tax apparatus of the federal government against them. How much of a stretch is it to imagine your ordering the head of the IRS to revoke the non-profit status of Planned Parenthood if it steps out of line?

What about government employees? Any statement critical of you could be used as grounds to claim a Hatch Act violation. If an employee questions too forcefully or prevents you or your agents from acting improperly or whistleblows, it’s easy to imagine your conjuring a claim that they engaged in improper political speech in the workplace as cover to fire them. 

If anything, the FEC should clarify your status immediately to avoid these issues. 

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