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Political Blogging Under Fire by FEC

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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.

Read the full interview by C/Net reporter Declan McCullagh

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 ?

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ZZ Bachman / ZardozZ News & Satire Portal
Have a Blog? Ring Surf it @ ZZ OpenRing

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About Z.Z. Bachman

  • http://dumpsterbust.blogspot.com Eric Berlin

    Interesting story, ZZ. Take a little care in your quoting, though: the quote references “Smith” several times, a personage unknown to us wee BlogCritics denizens.

  • http://www.roblogpolitics.blogspot.com RJ

    I understand that the Left wing of the blogosphere is pretty upset about this…

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    I wonder how (or if) this would apply to links and funds from outside the US. Because of course, the borders are so well defined on the Web…

  • http://paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    I wonder how (or if) this would apply to links and funds from outside the US. Because of course, the borders are so well defined on the Web…

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    Talk about chilling… There goes freedom of expression.

  • http://zardozz.com/zz/ Z.Z.Bachman

    Folks — I’ve updated this post with some better references as per Eric’s suggestion. (see additional links). Just to make sure you all understood who was talking to whom. The blockquote is a caption from an interview of Bradley Smith (FEC) Commissioner by Declan McCullagh of C/Net. I added the link to the full interview for your reading pleasure (or displeasure). Let’s all hope this is more boggey man rumor and it will not turn into fact. Concerns are that this sort of thing is actually being considered !

    Cheers…
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    ZZ Bachman / ZardozZ News & Satire Portal
    Have a Blog? Ring Surf it @ ZZ OpenRing