Government Wants To Regulate Political Blogs

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. A lot of well-meaning people couldn't understand the opposition to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" law. How could it be a bad thing to "get the money" out of politics? Well, we learned that money doesn't go away, it just finds another entrance. So like the War on Drugs, the original infringement on our rights now is the justification for even more oppressive infringements.

    The Federal Elections Commission actually plans to impose restrictions on internet bloggers concerning their advocacy for political candidates. So if you have a blog and like to talk politics, expect Big Brother to come calling.


    Bloggers from both sides oppose FEC regulations
    By Eric Pfeiffer
    March 22, 2006

    Conservative and liberal bloggers both worry their freedom of speech is threatened by proposed campaign-finance rules that seek to regulate online political speech.
    The Federal Election Commission is expected tomorrow to outline rules that could limit political Web logs and e-mail solicitations and would be similar to campaign-finance laws that apply to more traditional advocacy groups, such as the AFL-CIO and the National Rifle Association.
    The rules could limit the amount of campaign money bloggers would be allowed to raise and the amount federal campaigns would be allowed to spend on Internet advertising.
    Last week, the House was close to voting on the Online Freedom of Speech Act, a bill sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican. The bill is designed to allow political blogs, e-mails and other types of individual online communication to continue operating free from FEC regulations.
    Hensarling spokesman Mike Walz said in a telephone interview that the House vote has been indefinitely postponed and expressed frustration because he thinks the FEC wants Congress to act first. "The fact that [the FEC] delayed their initial vote indicates they wanted to get a clear direction from Congress," Mr. Walz said.
    FEC Chairman Michael E. Toner has endorsed Mr. Hensarling's bill.
    "I don't think the FEC is all that keen on this," said David Keating, executive director of Club for Growth, a group that promotes limited-government policies. "They're only doing this because the court told them to."
    The FEC was expected to publish its proposed Internet regulations yesterday on its Web site. However, the agenda item was listed as "submitted late." When The Washington Times contacted the FEC, it said the item is now scheduled to be posted this morning.
    When the FEC wrote its campaign-finance-reform rules in 2002, Internet communications were exempted. But finance-reform proponents Reps. Christopher Shays, Connecticut Republican, and Martin T. Meehan, Massachusetts Democrat, disagreed and were joined by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, which ruled in 2004 that the Internet exemption was at odds with the statute's intent.
    Bloggers across the political spectrum have united in opposition to proposed FEC regulations.
    "Hopefully, when faced with actual regulations that affect political speech, Congress will stand up to the so-called 'reform community' ..." said Mike Krempasky, co-founder of the popular conservative blog RedState. "We can't really know how the FEC will rule. All we know is that since the House failed to pass [the bill], the Internet will be less free because of it."
    Markos Moulitsas, founder of the influential liberal blog Daily Kos, and Mr. Krempasky co-authored a letter to the FEC last year protesting restrictions on online political speech.
    The Hensarling bill also has broad bipartisan support, including from House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican; Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican; and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat. Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Mr. Reid is "concerned" the FEC could pass unnecessary regulations that would "silence this new and important form of political speech."
    The Democratic and Republican congressional campaign committees, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Family Research Council have signed on as well.
    Reps. Tom Allen, Maine Democrat, and Charles Bass, New Hampshire Republican, have their own so-called "blog bill."
    That proposal would restrict the efforts of political blogs with annual operating budgets of more than $10,000. That would mean that larger political blogs, such as the Daily Kos or RedState, would become regulated while smaller sites would not.
  2. BSAM


    This country is infested with speech police.

    Yeah, baby! Kim Jong-il for President '08!!!:D :D :D
  3. achilles28


    Total bs.

    What are they going to do next? Outlaw civil debate that occurs outside the internet?

    I've heard the US Gov plans to neglect upgrading the internet backbone so it can push traffic onto a 'newer' regulated version of it, named "Internet2" (I think).

    I can't vouch for the stories veracity but it certainly wouldn't fall outside our Governments obscene fixation with regulating, taxing and controlling every aspect of our lives.

    I am real sick of it. Sorry for the spirited vitriol. BUt I am.
  4. achilles28


    Oh yea. And microsoft has preemptively designed keyboards with biometric pass-code technology (finger scan) to regulate who gets on the net.

    Fuckign nazis.
  5. Neo-Commies will not stop until everyone is in shackles and performing slave labor for their corporate masters. Their activist Judges and corrupt politicians need to stopped.

    Quote from achilles28:

    Oh yea. And microsoft has preemptively designed keyboards with biometric pass-code technology (finger scan) to regulate who gets on the net.

    Fuckign nazis.
  6. achilles28


  7. Pabst


    AAA, campaign finance "reform" is over the top.

    During the '04 Congressional I asked Hastert for help to run a few cable TV ads. Being we're fellow Illinoisan's, his office was friendly to my campaign. The lawyer for Keep Our Majority went into conniptions when I told him a pal was going to produce my ads for free. FREE is NOT PERMITTED under Federal Election law. Ah, for the olden days of citizen legislators.....
  8. I guess free help is considered an in kind donation and must be reported, unless it is some Hollywood celebrity raising funds and going on Letterman to talk your candidacy up, then it's OK.

    I always thought political commentary and electioneering were core First Amendment activities, but to my surprise the Supreme Court ruled they were entitled to less protection than nude dancing. I really wish the Roberts Court could find a way to take another look at McCain-Feingold, which is a hideous infringement on a free people's rights. I blame Bush for signing the damn thing, the Court for upholding it and McCain for pushing it. It's another reason he shouldn't be President.
  9. relax. you're with them. it's not like you're against them or anything.
  10. jem


    Does anyone no a good way to get the money out of politics and still allow for constitutional rights.

    One thing I would like to see is the government require free political ads as part of the license granted to radio and tv stations.

    Perhaps the money that would have been spent on the commercials could go to school voucher programs or midnight basketball programs in inner cities, or alternative energy research.

    I see no reasons that corporations should not give back some of the free money they get because of these licenses.
    #10     Mar 23, 2006