February 2, 2022
Dear Chairperson Cantwell and Ranking Member Wicker:
We, the undersigned, represent a broad coalition of organizations opposing the confirmation of Alvaro Bedoya to serve as a commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If confirmed, Bedoya would bring a record of hyper-partisan, extremist advocacy to the FTC and would steer the agency in a direction of over-reaching and harmful regulatory policies.
The FTC is an enforcement agency with oversight of issues such as antitrust, consumer protection, and privacy. The Commission should respect the long-standing commitment to the consumer welfare standard and free markets, not focus on expanding government control or social issues.
Bedoya would not bring a cooler head but would exacerbate the FTC’s increasing disregard for consensus and precedent. As an enforcement agency, FTC commissioners should strive towards a cooperative, measured, and transparent approach to decisions, aiming towards unanimity over political gamesmanship.
The confirmation of an ideological, progressive ally would give Chair Lina Khan an even freer hand in transforming the FTC, doing away with its rules, hamstringing businesses with red tape, and dismantling our market-driven economy. Khan has come under criticism for pursuing a hyper-regulatory, anti-business agenda, dispensing with the FTC’s precedents and rules along the way.
Khan has been rightfully criticized for using the “zombie” votes of former FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra after he no longer served on the Commission. She has decreased transparency by holding closed door meetings to shut out the public and stops FTC staff from participating in public events. When the commission rammed through controversial changes to business merger guidelines, the two Republican appointed commissioners said it was done “with the minimum notice required by law, virtually no public input, and no analysis or guidance.”
As the Commission’s primary function is enforcement, Bedoya’s disregard and distaste for law enforcement functions is concerning. In terms of immigration and “sanctuary cities,” Bedoya said, “I think it’s high time that state legislators understand that they can do something about this. … And already you’ve seen States like New York, like California, New Jersey, pass laws protecting their residents’ data, their residents’ faces from ICE.” Bedoya also called for a focus on political priorities in Biden’s stimulus package rather than support for law enforcement. Today, we are seeing the results of a lack of appreciation and support for the rule of law.
Bedoya has a history of personally attacking and supporting attacks on those he disagrees with. He has amplified Twitter posts calling Governors Abbott and DeSantis “death-eaters” and urging Republican Senators to resign. Additionally, Bedoya has shared numerous social media posts calling President Trump and individuals in the Trump administration “racist and white supremacist.” He even liked a tweet disparaging Baron Trump. This type of aggressive rhetoric and behavior is inconsistent with the type of temperament required for a commissioner of the FTC.
These extremist views and actions of Bedoya caught the attention of Senators during the confirmation process. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), the ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee said, “I remain concerned by the frequency with which he has publicly expressed divisive views on policy matters, rather than a more measured and more unifying tone…I fear Mr. Bedoya would not bring the cooperative spirit to the commission that we need at this time.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said Bedoya’s record was one of “a left-wing activist, a provocateur, a bomb-thrower, and an extremist.”
Bedoya’s confirmation would jeopardize investment and innovation, threaten the already weakening economy, and bring never before seen partisanship to the FTC. For these and other reasons, we urge Senators to reject Bedoya’s confirmation.
Grover Norquist, President, Americans for Tax Reform
Phil Kerpen, President, American Commitment
Steve Pociask, President / CEOAmerican Consumer Institute
Ashley Baker, Director of Public Policy, Committee for Justice
James Edwards, Executive Director, Conservatives for Property Rights
Katie McAuliffe, Executive Director, Digital Liberty
Adam Brandon, President, FreedomWorks
Heather R. Higgins, CEO, Independent Women’s Voice
Seton Motley, President, Less Government
Tom Hebert, Executive Director, Open Competition Center
James L. Martin, Founder/Chairman, 60 Plus Association
Saulius “Saul” Anuzis, President, 60 Plus Association