In doing so, Ravel — who directed her resignation letter at President Donald Trump and included unsolicited advice for new president — leaves behind an agency the outspoken Democratic commissioner says she at once considers “essential” to American democracy and as useful, in its current state, as “men’s nipples.”
But Ravel tells the Center for Public Integrity she’s reaffirming her quest to rid elections of secret money and reduce wealthy individuals’ influence on politics, albeit from her home in California instead of Washington, D.C.
Her immediate plans include teaching at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and joining the boards of “several” nonprofit organizations, two of which primarily advocate for campaign finance reforms. Ravel, whose resignation is effective March 1, declined to name the nonprofits because her appointments there are not yet official.
“Don’t worry,” said Ravel, the six-member commission’s chairwoman in 2015. “I’m not going away.”
Since joining the FEC in October 2013, Ravel had little trouble finding limelight. Her unabashedly left-leaning campaign reform agenda found high-profile platforms that ranged from the New York Times’ op-ed pages to segments on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
Ravel rarely missed an opportunity to accuse fellow Republican commissioners of disregarding election laws — a recent FEC deadlock involving a conservative nonprofit’s TV advertising practices proved particularly vexing to Ravel.
Her parting shot? A 25-page missive entitled, “Dysfunction and Deadlock: The Enforcement Crisis at the Federal Election Commission Reveals the Unlikelihood of Draining the Swamp,” in which she derides her GOP colleagues as “a bloc of three commissioners [that] routinely thwarts, obstructs and delays action on the very campaign finance laws its members were appointed to administer.”