In a C/Net News article, writer Dean McCullogh describes a situation that is about to unfold as a result of the McCain / Feingold act. This is something worth keeping an eye on if you run a high power blog with a large following…
CNET News.com spoke with Bradley Smith about the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, better known as the McCain-Feingold law, and its forthcoming extrusion onto the Internet. Bradley Smith is a commisioner on the Federal Election Committee (FEC)… Excerpts from the interview…
In just a few months, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign’s Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate’s press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.
Bradley Smith should know. He’s one of the six commissioners at the Federal Election Commission, which is beginning the perilous process of extending a controversial 2002 campaign finance law to the Internet.
In 2002, the FEC exempted the Internet by a 4-2 vote, but U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly last fall overturned that decision. “The commission’s exclusion of Internet communications from the coordinated communications regulation severely undermines” the campaign finance law’s purposes, Kollar-Kotelly wrote.
Bradley Smith and the other two Republican commissioners wanted to appeal the Internet-related sections. But because they couldn’t get the three Democrats to go along with them, what Smith describes as a “bizarre” regulatory process now is under way.
CNET News.com spoke with Smith about the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, better known as the McCain-Feingold law, and its forthcoming extrusion onto the Internet.
If you are interested in expressing your concerns here are links to both Senator’s offices… Sen McCain and Sen. Feingold. Here are some other links listed over at Instapundit that have even more discussion on the subject. Oh 1st Amendment — where are you headed ?