Skip to comments.Lawmakers: Hands off blogs (FR mentioned)
Posted on 03/14/2005 7:45:11 PM PST by mdittmar
Bloggers should enjoy traditional press freedoms and not face regulation as political groups, lawmakers and online journalists said Friday.
In separate letters, Democratic lawmakers and Internet commentators urged the Federal Election Commission to make sure that political Web sites that serve as focal points for political discussion, such as Wonkette.com and Freerepublic.com, don't have to comply with campaign-finance rules.
"Curtailing blogs and other online publications will dampen the impact of new voices in the political process and will do a disservice to the millions of voters who rely on the Web for original, insightful political commentary," said the Online Coalition, a group of bloggers and online activists.
Fourteen members of the House of Representatives said blogs foster a welcome diversity of viewpoints.
"This 'democratization' of the media is a welcome development in this era of media consolidation and a corresponding lack of diversity of views in traditional media outlets," said the group, which consists of thirteen Democrats and one Republican.
The FEC ruled in 2002 that Internet activities do not count as "coordinated political activity" and thus don't have to comply with laws that regulate money in politics.
But a U.S. judge struck down that ruling as too broad last year, and the FEC is scheduled to consider it later this month.
If the FEC determines that blogs are in fact political organizations, they could face fines if they work too closely with political campaigns by, for example, reprinting their press releases.
FEC spokesman Bob Biersack said the commission would try to craft its new rule as narrowly as possible.
"The Commission has tried very hard for a long time to be as limited in its regulation of Internet activity as it possibly could, so there's no reason to assume that that basic orientation doesn't continue," he said.
ABCNBCCBSCNN are more political organizations that we are...
Who was the Republican?
Thomas Paine lives.
Why is this even an issue? We have freedom of speech - end of story. The FEC can shove it.
We're supposed to have the right to bear arms - yet governments tell us what guns we can and cannot buy, and when and where we can carry them.
We're supposed to have freedom from searches without due process - yet the government can set up roadblocks to check our blood alcohol level without due process.
We're supposed to have a federal government limited by the Tenth Amendment - which is basically a dead letter unless it serves a particular pet cause by the Federalist wing of the Supreme Court - which would be fine and dandy except that same wing almost never saw a violation of the Fourth Amendment that they couldn't condone.
So don't go looking to the Constitution for your freedoms. The federal government sure as heck doesn't any longer.
Websites that actively fundraise in one way or another for a candidate, as several lefty sites (KOS) did in '04, should be be governed under PAC or campaign rules.
Posting copy, discussing and analyzing politicians and campaigns is no more a political activity than going down to the local watering hole on Friday night and doing the same thing.
The real story is that McCain-Feingold is a joke. Repeal it.
The man behind RATHERGATE
FR and other FORUMS should be treated the same as any public debate or perhaps a vigorous discussion at a coffeehouse.
Regulating forums makes about as much sense as regulating chairs for their role in political discussion.
The early reports on this issue indicated the simple act of linking to a campaign site could be considered a payment in kind. Preposterous if you ask me.
Fr-fr-from th-th-the article.
Good (but depressing) post.
IMHO the only questionable organizations are ones like moveon.org, which are sponsored by big donors like Soros.
Wonkette may be an idiot, but as far as I know she's her own idiot, without backing from the DNC or the usual suspects. FreeRepublic is a free association supported by its members.
Under the McCain-Feingold law they could probably close down moveon.org. But frankly McCain-Feingold is unconstitutional. Since SCOTUS is too ideological to admit that, congress should repeal the damnable thing. And get their act together to appoint some decent judges.
This wouldn't affect FR, since it's not a blog.....
If I was to guess .. it's because of the money George Soro's threw into Moveon.org
Depending on how they word the rules??
It sure as heck could effect FR and many other sites
Quoth the maven, nevermore!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.