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Should the DailyKos be Subject to the Federal Election Commission?

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Today I filed an Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against Kos Media, LLC., better known as DailyKos.com. I allege that they operate as a political committee and are therefore subject to FEC rules.

I first thought of this complaint during the Cindy Sheehan debacle over at Daily Kos, where Cindy pledged to run as an independent against Nancy Pelosi, and the Daily Kos basically turned on her. While some conservatives took great delight in this, I really didn't care because it's politics as usual. The right has thrown their fair share of people under the bus for not drinking the Kool-aid too.

However, the statement that the DailyKos was about electing Democrats stuck with me. I always assumed it was a standard left-wing group blog spouting the latest and greatest in left-wing diatribe. However, the statement that the blog exists to get Democrats elected is repeated in various places around the site, including statements by Kos himself.

Federal Election Commission rules apply for organizations that spend or contribute an equivalent of $1,000 per year in trying to influence elections for federal office. DailyKos is owned by Kos Media, a company, which makes it fit the definition of an organization. It surely spends at least $1,000 per year in hosting and based on what they charge (and get) for advertising, their support of candidates is certainly worth over $1,000 per year. Lastly, their self-identified purpose is to influence elections in the Democrats favor. They fit the criteria.

Some will argue that this is a slippery slope that will snare all bloggers. First, most bloggers aren't organizations. Second, most bloggers are read by like 3 people and their posts are certainly not worth $1,000. Third, most bloggers don't exist for the primary purpose of electing certain people to federal office.

A better question to ask is can a political committee avoid campaign regulations by simply organizing in the form of a blog? Surely not.

There is also debate on the prudence of the various election laws and whether or not they are helpful or harmful to our democratic republic. This debate is all fine and interesting but that doesn't mean partisan sites can flout the law simply because they don't like it. Most of the federal election laws people don't have a problem with, such as the laws requiring disclosure. That is all this complaint is about, that the DailyKos needs to file disclosure reports to the FEC, just like every other political committee out there.

In the end, the DailyKos is bound by its own statement that it exists to elect Democrats. They've made themselves subject to the FEC when they decided to be an arm of the Democratic Party.

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About John Bambenek

John Bambenek is a political activist and computer security expert. He has his own company Bambenek Consulting in Champaign, IL that specializes in digital forensics and computer security investigations.
  • http://www.cnn.com Some guy

    The FEC looked into this back in 2005 or 2006, and concluded blogs like Daily Kos get the media exemption. Reformer groups argued the whole “get Democrats elected” thing, and it was shot down.

    Your complaint is going into the trash.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    What the FEC looked into in 2005 was different, unless you are referring to a different complaint… have a link so I can review?

  • Dave

    What about Foxnews being considered as well. Tony Snow as white house press correspondent.. just one of the many blatent examples of how the network is a bullhorn for the white house.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Fox News doesn’t come out and say their primary purpose is to elect Republicans.

  • Some guy

    Google is your friend.

    And it makes sense to know the law before you waste the FEC’s time (and our tax dollars) on false claims.

    I wonder if Daily Kos can recover legal fees from you for filing such a groundless claim…

  • Some guy

    Fox doesn’t come out and say their primary purpose is to elect Republicans. True.

    So in your world, you punish those who are open and honest, rather than those who lie and claim “up” is “down”? Interesting incentive system you’ve got there.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Entirely different issue, I knew it, read it, and saw how it doesn’t apply to this case.

    Thanks for playing, move on.

  • Adam B.

    I served as attorney for DailyKos in 2005-06 as the FEC was considering regulation of political activity online.

    I strongly, strongly urge you to read FEC Advisory Opinion 2005-16 (“Fired Up”) and the FEC regulations regarding the Internet approved by the FEC in 2006.

    In short: the Federal Election Commission has already carefully considered these questions, and has rejected your approach completely, unanimously and unequivocally on facts identical to these. What DailyKos does is exempt from FEC regulation both because of its status as a press entity and because Markos’s voluntary activities neither count as expenditures nor contributions under the law.

    Once you review the applicable law, I trust that you will recognize that this complaint has no basis, and withdraw it accordingly.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Of course, once the Fairness Doctrine gets passed into law, all of those protections for Daily Kos are out the window.

    Dave

  • Some guy

    “Thanks for playing, move on.”

    Such arrogance! As Adam B says, read the law. It’s not even remotely ambiguous.

  • Some guy

    The fairness doctrine, whatever its merits, has nothing to do with any website. It only applies to media outlets that use public airwaves — radio and broadcast television.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    So some guy shows up, says he’s a lawyer, and that makes it true?

    How novel.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    1) The FiredUp case involves a site that did commentary. DailyKos’s self-identified primary purpose is to get Democrats elected. That clearly identifies it as a partisan, not press, organizations.

    2) The exemption you cite, if it applies which I argue it does not, involves uncompensated activity. Marcos gets paid. Maybe not by a campaign, but that doesn’t matter (to avoid people paying for political consultants for campaigns and paying them via 3rd parties to avoid disclosure).

  • Clavos

    Bet Dave Neeleman wishes he’d never heard of markos…

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    In short, the fairness doctrine only is to apply to the detriment of conservatives. The liberal strongholds get to keep their monopolies.

  • Adam B.

    John, I’m not asking you to rely on my being a lawyer.

    I’m asking you to read the regulations, and read the FEC’s 2005 advisory opinion in which a site exactly like DailyKos asked the FEC to determine whether it counted as a “press entity” exempt from regulation. These precise questions were argued then, and the pro-regulation side lost.

    Whether you consider this from a “press exception” standpoint or an “individual volunteer activity” standpoint, what KosMedia spends simply doesn’t count as a contribution or expenditure under the law. As such, you never reach the political committee question.

    If you have any questions, let me know.

  • Adam B.

    John, the “reform” groups explicitly argued before the FEC in the FiredUp case that “an organization whose stated purpose is to be the functional equivalent of a partisan campaign organization — to elect Democratic candidates and to solicit contributions for such candidates — does not qualify for the press exemption.”

    Every single commissioner on the FEC rejected this argument, and agreed that FiredUp was indeed a press entity.

    Moreover, the “compensation” issue only applies to being compensated by campaigns for the blogging. The FEC’s explanation of the regulations make clear that even if a campaign paid a blogger to perform technical/consulting services, the blogger’s personal blogging for which he wasn’t being paid didn’t count as a contribution/expenditure.

    John, I fought long and hard alongside the folks from RedState to get these exemptions in place. The FEC could not have been more clear in 2005-06 as to what the new rules were. Please read them.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Adam-

    I read the 2005 advisory opinion and it involves a site that doesn’t (unlike Daily Kos) state that their primary purpose is to elect Democrats. Marcos is on record, several other editors are on record, and the site itself states prominently that the purpose of the Daily Kos is to elect Democrats. They don’t say report news, they don’t say advance an agenda, they say elect Democrats, period. It’s a different situation. You can’t argue that you’re a press outlet, when all over your site you say you’re all about electing a certain political party to office. They are incompatible. And that’s why its different…

    Fired Up and others are commentary sites and act like it. Daily Kos’s self-identified purpose is to get Democrats elected. It’d be different if they themselves stated they have another agenda, but they come out and admit they act like a PAC… they can’t run and hide simply because they are challenged.

  • anon

    Daily Kos should not have to pretend to be journalists in order to have the first amendment applied to them. All of our campaign finance laws are bs.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I’m not sure there IS a site ‘exactly like’ DailyKos. I will point out that a number of other partisan sites – mostly republican as far as I know – have taken the precaution of filing as PACs, even though they have varied, newslike content.

    However, based on the Fired Up complaint, I would think DailyKos would also be exempted. It appears that partisanship is not a disqualifier for being part of the loosely defined ‘press’. Now, if JB could prove that DailyKos is directly funded by a political party or PAC – like moveon.org – that might be a different situation.

    Dave

  • Adam B.

    Dave, that’s correct: if DailyKos were owned or controlled by a candidate, party or PAC, this would be different. It isn’t, however.

    John: I guess I need to quote at length from the Democracy 21/CLC/CRP argument to the FEC on Fired Up: “Here, the requestor has stated that ‘Fired Up intends to endorse, expressly advocate, and
    urge readers to donate funds to the election of Democratic candidates for federal, state, and local office.’ AOR 2005-16 at 2. It also states that its Web site will contain links to ‘Democratic and progressive organizations.’ Id. It ‘intends aggressively to support progressive candidates and causes at all levels.’ … In short, Fired Up’s self-avowed purpose is to elect Democratic candidates to office, and indeed, to solicit campaign contributions for Democratic candidates. These purely partisan goals may be appropriate for a political organization, but they do not qualify a group as a ‘press entity.'”

    Again, every FEC commissioner rejected the exact claim regarding a site’s “purpose” that you’re offering now.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    From the opinion:
    An examination of Fired Up’s websites reveals that a primary function of the websites is to provide news and information to readers through Fired Up’s commentary on, quotes from, summaries of, and hyperlinks to news articles appearing on other entities’ websites and through Fired Up’s original reporting.

    The reform groups tried to derive the intention of Fired Up as partisan… that derivation was rejected. No one needs to derive anything in the case of the Daily Kos, the state their purpose up front.

    We’ll see how it plays out in front of the FEC… I’m not all the interested in debating it here.

  • Adam B.

    John: Realize what you just cut-and-pasted — the FEC examined the website itself, and not just cherrypicked quotes about “stated purpose”, to determine whether it was a press entity.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Well, if you’re right, it’ll be a quick hearing at the FEC… we’ll see.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Actually, Mr. Bambenek, you just debated it, and you lost.

    This was important news back in March of last year when the FEC ruled (unanimously) on these issues. It was seen as an important victory for the netroots, and more broadly, for freedom of speech. Your complaint won’t be seriously considered, and no great gov’t expenditure will result from dismissing it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    geeez…here yas go again, messing John up with silly shit…

    like Facts…

    or Logic.

    ya know ya missed me, John

    {8^P~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Excelsior?

  • PhilM

    Why don’t you pack your bags and move to China; you’ll fit right in — probably get a government job to boot.

  • SanFranciscoJim

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

    Seems pretty straightforward to me.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    Thanks for wasting our tax dollars.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Look, people are going to keep challenging these highly partisan sites infront of the FEC and probably eventually the FCC too. I don’t think that’s a problem, so long as everyone gets a fair hearing.

    IMO JB could have picked a better target if he really wanted to make a splash. For example, Democratic Underground has real ties to political groups which could probably be researched and documented and used against it. That might be more productive.

    Hate-filled though it is, DailyKos is still just some bozos who happen to be pro-democrat spouting their personal opinions on their own dime.

    Dave

  • Michelle K.

    It’s bad enough that conservative talk show hosts are under attack from the politicians on Capitol Hill, but for a WRITER to file a complaint against the Daily Kos regarding a FREE SPEECH issue seems to me to be absurd.

    Don’t worry so much — if the Dems get their way we won’t have to worry about the 1st Amendment anymore as NO-ONE will have a voice — except maybe those that tow the government line (no matter who is in power).

    Why in the world would you want to introduce government control over the blogosphere/internet? While I totally dislike what they preach at DailyKos (it downright makes me ill frankly), I would never dream of trying to take them down this way… Their socialist(/communist) ideology will eventually do that by itself.

    Oh, and if by some evil miracle Hillary does get elected you won’t have to worry about political speech on the internet because she has a plan for that — to allow government censorship of all of it! (And I might add, a stunt like this will get the Dems even more riled up about the Anti-Free Speech Fairness Doctrine)

    Way to go, sir… PLEASE leave DailyKos alone, and please consider withdrawing your complaint — for the good of ALL of us! You have to know this will come back to bite conservatives as well if you go through with it.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Eventually, after saying that they are a blog whose primary purpose is to get Democrats elected, you have to take them at their word… that they are a political committee. There is nothing illogical about that.

  • Adam B.

    Except that it’s not part of the inquiry, John. Read the Fired Up opinion again: the FEC looked at what the site did, and not its “stated purpose”. An examination of Fired Up’s websites reveals that a primary function of the websites is …

    As FEC commissioner Ellen Weintraub told Salon.com two years ago, “People like Red State [a prominent conservative blog] or Kos clearly fall under the media exemption … Practically all bloggers — I can’t think of one who wouldn’t — would fall under the media exemption or the volunteer. And that’s if we do nothing, if we don’t change the rules at all.”

  • Les Slater

    John,

    I totally defend the right of DailyKos to advocate the election of candidates and platform of the Democratic Party. It is the threat of the FEC hanging over such entities that we should oppose.

    The FEC has never solved the problem of corporate influence over the electoral process and never will. The big corporations and the very wealthy run this country and politically do it through BOTH major parties.

    You playing the dupe for one side of this charade is not only reactionary but indicates you really don’t have a clue.

    Les

  • CDO

    So explain hwhy FOX news should be treated differently that DailyKos? Everything you describe that Kos does, so does FOX. Treat them the same is all I demand.

  • http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/blog/blogView James Robertson

    I don’t even care what the FEC rules are. What I’d ask you to do is this: read the first amendment, paying particular attention to the word “no”.

    Repeat as often as necessary until comprehension arrives.

  • DRew

    What a tool. Where on the Kos website does it say its main objective is to elect Democrats. Its a political website for Progressives and liberals who of course will want to elect Democrats for the most part. All you are is a partisan nitwit wanting to make noise against a website you don’t like. If you are really concerned, why not go after RedState/Townhall etc. that campaign exclusively for republicans? And the website allows anyone to post. Its hate filled to the degree that any other website that allows open comments is. However, the website itself has advocated for moderate Democrats such as Jim Webb, Joe Sestak, and Patrick Murphy, all distinguished veterans who support gun owners and are hardly socialists.

  • Dasher
    SanFranciscoJim

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

    Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    Since this is the case, how did McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act pass? Or most any other campaign finance law, most of which restrict free speech.

  • Jeffersonian

    This is a terrible idea, but one that I see some merit in. The problem isn’t that Kos should or shouldn’t be covered by the law/regulations in question, it’s that the law/regulations exist at all. By subjecting Kos to the threat of FEC regulation of his blog, he gets to experience the joys of speech regulation up close and personal, thus potentially creating another convert for overturning the law that he once cheered for.

    As Grant said, the best way to get rid of a bad law is to rigorously enforce it.

  • A.W.

    I don’t like… no scratch that… I dispise Daily Kos and their band of loonies. But the fact that they fit into these regulations is further proof that McCain-Feingold was a bad, bad idea. I say this. Sunlight, not control. That is, only regulate to require full disclosure of things like where you are getting the money, and so on. But don’t make any attempt to control any form of speech or press.

    But while we are at it, could we call CBS an organization designed to influence elections, too?

  • Les Slater

    We all really have to back away from knee-jerk taking sides with one side or the other. They are both a gang of thugs who do not represent our interest.

  • http://www.rinohunters.us Stephen

    I think this filing is a great move. Our legal system is built on precedent. When his complaint is slapped down, bloggers will have an extra precedent on their side if a legitimate challenge ever comes up.

  • Jeffersonian

    Since this is the case, how did McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act pass? Or most any other campaign finance law, most of which restrict free speech.

    Welcome to the real world. Not only did M-F pass, but Bush signed it and the USSC rubber-stamped it (thanks, “liberals!!”). Only recently did the Court strip off some of the more onerous provisions (preventing issue ads within 30/60 days of a primary/general election).

  • http://www.redstate.com Krempasky

    John,

    As a political matter, I can appreciate the appeal for attention that this “complaint” represents. As a political matter, I can appreciate throwing stones at the other side.

    But this is just plain stupid. Keep arguing with Adam, you’ll find it informative – and if you don’t let what he’s telling you sink in, you’ll find your time with the FEC frustrating and embarassing.

    If you believe in free speech (as I believe you do), then hang this crap up. It doesn’t help anyone. At all.

  • urmakesillyz

    Um, dude, have you ever heard the term “weird old crank?” We get stuff from nuts like you in DC all the time. We mostly giggle at them and show them to the interns (who giggle too).

  • http://greenmountainday.com odum

    Good god, Bambenek. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    I suppose I should be intimidated out of my own blogging now, eh?

  • apetrelli

    Those referring to the Fired-Up advisory opinion or the FEC hearings and ensuing exemption are wrong.

    This complaint is based on DailyKos’ efforts at organizing voters, and raising money to further organize voters, for the expressed purpose of electing Democrats. This is not speech, it is clearly the actions and incidents of a political committee. There are clear grounds distinguishing this from both the advisory opinion and the exemption.

    Watch DailyKos over the next few days (or at most, weeks) strip all references to ‘electing Democrats’ as they attempt to rewrite history. DailyKos is as DailyKos does.

  • Captain USA

    You are un-American. Emigrate to North Korea.

  • Hesiod

    John,

    It really doesn’t matter what Kos and his editors state is the express purpose of Daily Kos. Even if they are saying it is to elect Democrats to office (except for Joe Lieberman — that kinda blows your argument out of the water, doesn’t it?)…the site itself does not always agree.

    You cited the example of Cindy Sheehan. Well, even though she might have been opposed by a lot of people on Kos for her criticism of Nancy Pelosi, she was still able to post a diary and have her say. And a minority of people agreed with her, even if it was not Markos.

    Now, compare that to a truly party-run or campaign run website or blog, where dissent is quickly quashed, and off-message commenatary is never expressed.

    Daily Kos, despite what Markos may say, is really a free for all debating society where a decent specturm of opinions from the center to the far left are expressed daily.

    So, even if the FEC had not alreayd rejected your arguments, your point about Daily Kos being distinguishable from FiredUp is not even true on the merits.

    Finally, many of your attacks on Daily Kos are actually more apt to be levelled at people like Rush Limbaugh and Sean hannity who ARE totally and completely geared toward pushing the Republican party and electing Republicans.

    And, unlike Daily Kos, they don’t allow contrary opinions to be expressed very ofetm if ever, on tehir programs. The only difefrence is that Limbaugh and Hnannity don’t expressly state that they are Republican party proganada organs, even though that is precisely what they are.

    In fact, Limbaugh himself as much admitted this after the GOP lost the Congress. IN fact he said, after the GOP lost in 2006, taht he was “free” and no longer had to carry water for the GOP.

    Well, based on that admission, he should be regulated up his yazoo just like Kos. Right?

  • Adam B.

    FYI, I’ve written more about this on DailyKos. Instapundit and the folks at The Corner and RedState aren’t looking kindly on this.

  • http://wp.blogcritics.org John

    Is BlogCritics now becoming a political organization by this post?

  • scarshapedstar

    Wow, censorship and a junk lawsuit rolled into one. Hooray for small government conservatism!

  • http://wp.blogcritics.org John

    The author of this post has run for political office. Is he now using this platform that reaches potential voters to raise his profile for another run? If so, is this site now in the purview of the FEC?

  • x

    I see your argument, but you’re still completely wrong on this one, so enjoy having the shortest-lived FEC complaint ever.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Apetrelli:

    These things are explicitly allowed under FEC rules. The ruling they made in March 06 explicitly, specifically allows exactly the things you “accuse” DailyKos of doing.
    Please read the ruling cited several times above.

  • KB

    I haven’t waded into the law and opinions of the FEC, but I hardly think that they would fail to examine the totality of the website in question, rather than rely on a few scattered sentences favorable to Democrats.

    I’m looking at the recommended diary list over there now, and I’m seeing diaries about health care, congress, economics, Michael Moore (who is not running for election by the way), etc.

    So if the Daily Kos’s only purpose is getting Democrats elected, then why are all those other topics posted? If memory serves, I also recall some advocating for the election of independents (apparently Cindy Sheehan just wasn’t a good enough independent), which would never had happened if the website was soley directed toward electing Dermocrats.

    So there’s my 30 seconds on this topic. Let me know how it all works out for you John.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I see this got promoted to the DailyKos based on the sudden decline in the levels of both politeness and literacy of the comments.

    In John’s defense, I don’t see how his complaint is an effort to silence DailyKos. Even if he were successful – which seems unlikely – all it would mean is that full disclosure and registration as a PAC would be required. It wouldn’t stop anything DailyKos is actually doing.

    Dave

  • Neurocat

    When you decide to take the same action against Fox News, I’ll take it seriously. For now, this is just another partisan attack against speech you don’t like.

  • Scott

    What surprises me is that, should John lose this complaint, he’ll be open to a counter-suit for legal fees and other damages. It seems to me that the DailyKos folks don’t particularly want this fight (Adam B at least is bending over backwards to be reasonable), but from a strategic viewpoint they’ll have to counter-sue just to deter imitators.

    Now if John had a reasonable chance of winning the complaint it might be worth the risk, but given that his argument relies on the commissioners make a razor-thin judgment that they’ve rejected previously, the odds don’t look good. I suspect that John isn’t a lawyer and didn’t consult one before filing this complaint.

  • MasonMcD

    Let’s take your argument to it’s logical extreme: what if I have a blog with one post that says “Vote for Sen. Smith!” What if I have ten posts like that? What if I have a paypal link?

    That would be my exclusive (an inclusive, for that matter) content.

    SHUT ME DOWN! SHUT ME DOWN!

    I don’t see how “expressed purpose” holds any water even if it were true.

  • Innocent Bystander

    Why do all of the demands for government censorship seem to be coming from the Right today? In the marketplace of ideas, why do you look for government to suppress information you don’t agree with? I could care less if you and people at Townhall, RedState, FreeRepublic want to support an organized crime syndicate that pretends to be a political party. That’s your right. The fact that a growing majority of Americans disagree with you should not be cause to react like a totalitarian and look for government to enforce your thinking.

  • Brendan

    So if DailyKos restated on all pages of their website that their purpose is to “present news and let you decide” or so other silly PR slogan, then JB’s complaint would be addressed.

    Sounds patently silly to me.

  • Dave V

    John B.

    What is your purpose in filing the complaint. Clearly there are progressive and conservative blogs that are advocating for the election of the candidates they support whether or not they have stated that is their purpose. They are debating the issues and providing links to candidates. Then the participants in that blog make decisions (as I do) whether to support that candidate or cause (click the link) or not. Indeed, trolls on both sides will respond by supporting their opponent in some cases (as I have done as well).

    Even if you truly believe in your argument, what could be more democratic and open than that? What could be more like the founders intended as free speech than that?

    Food for thought?

  • http://wp.blogcritics.org John

    someone wrote:

    “In John’s defense, I don’t see how his complaint is an effort to silence DailyKos. Even if he were successful – which seems unlikely – all it would mean is that full disclosure and registration as a PAC would be required. It wouldn’t stop anything DailyKos is actually doing.”

    fair points. But, I think the author is ignoring form over substance The author can’t seriously believe that the Rush Limbaugh program doesn’t exist to elect conservatives? Same for Sean Hannity. The author focuses in on the expressed statements. So, if Kos wrote a disclaimer or simply took down those statements, yet kept up the same actions, would the author agree then that there wasn’t FEC jurisidiction? Because that’s the only difference between what Kos is doing and what Hannity, Malkin, et al are doing. And, yet I don’t see an FEC complaint against those entities?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    What surprises me is that, should John lose this complaint, he’ll be open to a counter-suit for legal fees and other damages.

    Scott, keep in mind that this is not a ‘suit’, it’s a complaint filed with a government agency. I’m not sure there’s a way to countersue as such, though I guess they could file a civil suit against him for harassment.

    I suspect that John isn’t a lawyer and didn’t consult one before filing this complaint.

    It’s America. Everyone has the right to be offended.

    Dave

  • http://OsiSpeaks.com KYJurisDoctor

    This complaint is at the heart of all blogging. I believe, though, that Kos may be alright with the FEC.

  • Bruce Menin

    I was going to make a comment about the apparent superficiality of your arguments, and the willful ignorance you seem to be displaying regarding the application of established policy regarding the exact questions you are raising, when I was distracted by the Google advert on your site for Dennis Kucinich for President. You or your site wouldn’t by any chance be deriving any sort of income from that advert, would you? Or perhaps giving us all a little wink about your political inclinations re: the dem primaries? Just wondering.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    And, yet I don’t see an FEC complaint against those entities?

    From what I can see, democrat groups have filed FEC complaints against just about everyone on earth, but they do seem to grasp the fact that even talk radio is part of the news media.

    Dave

  • Feiba Peveli

    Go ahead, John. Spend all the time, money, and mental capacity you like on this. Lost cause, but I guess it is a good publicity stunt. Despite the idiocy of your argument, bad press is at least press. How many folks would have never heard of your blog without this feeble attempt? You’ll get the DailyKos and O’Reilly bunch to take a look.

  • JB

    You are “an academic professional for the University of Illinois.”?
    What kind of professional does not even know that this was looked at by FEC as recently as last year.
    It should read, “a right wing academic professional for the University of Illinois; but not a very good one”

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Bruce, it’s a non-partisan site. The google ad bot picked up on words in the article and decided that the Kucinich ad made sense. The google ad bot isn’t always terribly discriminating.

    Dave

  • looking italian

    “I see this got promoted to the DailyKos based on the sudden decline in the levels of both politeness and literacy of the comments.”

    Seems fair, since Bambanek apparently can’t read FEC regulations.

    The thoroughness of the research supporting this complaint is apparent in the second sentence, in which Bamabanek misspells the name of the principal person associated with the respondent.

    Oh, did Bambanek happen to look at 11 CFR 111.21(a)?

  • bobcat_grad

    Dave Nalle:

    Your condescending tone and self rightous attitude reveals makes you much better than all of the ‘hate-filled speech’ at Dkos, right?

    Watch Bill O, much, do you?

    John – I believe this complaint will be dismissed rather quickly. Granted, the blogosphere is relatively ‘new’ in the political world, and it will take some time to shake out the parameters around it. But it seems the FEC has spoken on this previlously.

  • Literate User

    Dave Nalle,

    Speaking of literacy, why don’t you look up the proper form for the Democratic Party (i.e. Democratic vs. Democrat), when used as an adjective — the results may surprise you!

  • Ex-Dem

    I have been a daily and avid reader of the political blogs for a few years.

    I think it is plainly obvious that several blogs, if not on the payroll directly, are being coordinated by “the Party”.

    Many readers just see DailyKos as tool firmly in the grip of the Party. Its nothing but PR and guerilla marketing and fundraising.

  • swan

    Hey, fine by me if he can shut down DailyKos with this argument – cuz then I can get Faux News shut down with the same argument :).

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Well, now we know where leftist kool-aid drinkers come from. They’re a product of the fine remedial literacy program that is the University of Houston, where most of the curriculum is consumed with teaching basics which their students failed to learn in public school. No time for any training in rhetoric, logic or political theory.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Speaking of literacy, why don’t you look up the proper form for the Democratic Party (i.e. Democratic vs. Democrat), when used as an adjective — the results may surprise you!

    I’ll do that right after you look up the difference between a noun and an adjective.

    ‘democrat groups’ is a noun or noun phrase, therefore ‘democrat’ is not an adjective in that context, but part of the noun.

    Don’t leap to conclusions based on your own prejudices and ignorance. I normally use ‘democratic’ as an adjective when referring to the quasi left leaning party in this country.

    Dave

  • Mike

    This is just a plain bad idea. Please find another way to crush those who hold a different opinion than you.

    “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every
    form of tyranny over the mind of man.” –Thomas Jefferson*

  • Leslie Bohn

    No, Dave, the “democrat” part of “democrat groups” is an adjective modifying “groups” and should take the adjectival form, “democratic.”

    A “noun phrase” just means the noun plus all the words directly modifying it, including adjectives, any adjectival phrases, and articles. Those words being part of a noun phrase don’t make them nouns.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    No leslie, it’s groups of democrats, not groups which are democratic in character. It’s like saying ‘history books’ instead of ‘historic books’.

    The usage in the sentence is clearly not the same as the normal adjectival use of the word, and the dumbass who raised the issue did leap to a biased conclusion.

    Dave

  • http://www.lonesomerobot.net lonesomerobot

    seems like a typical kneejerk response by today’s brand of republicans — instead of analyzing your own failure and trying to improve, you’re looking at someone else’s success and saying ‘we have to get the government (which we hate, of course) to STOP IT.’

    what kind of conservative asks the government to step in and fix your problems (like the fact that republicans have the equivalent of electoral cooties all over them right now)?

    aren’t conservatives supposed to be for free markets, competition and less governmental regulation?

    oh, that’s right, conservatives don’t actually *believe* that stuff – when given the chance, they’re all too happy to manipulate the government to their own advantage.

    this is just sour grapes, and all part of a larger right-wing campaign to attack liberal blogs (especially kos). you may as well admit it; it’s clear that the memo has gone around. this is just too concerted an effort to be a bunch of coincidental and independent acts.

    it’s too bad for conservatives: with these actions you are conceding that you’ve lost the internet and your only recourse is to attempt to prohibit this kind of speech and initiate a smear campaign that equates liberal bloggers with skinheads and klansmen. probably because it’s the most egalitarian method of speech we have left in this country. equality has just never been a priority for the republican party.

    btw, the idea that liberals are the only ones that say hateful things on the internet is absurd on it’s face.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Wrong, Dave. Adjectives modify nouns. The adjectival form of “democrat” is “democratic.”

    A group of democrats is a democratic group. If you find that unclear, maybe you could say “group of democrats.”

  • Clavos

    “The thoroughness of the research supporting this complaint is apparent in the second sentence, in which Bamabanek misspells the name of the principal person associated with the respondent.”

    …While you misspell Bambenek

  • Nancy

    I don’t see what the fuss is about. John filed a complaint. He’s entitled to do that, for any reason he wants. It’s not engraved in stone, & as pointed out many times above, it will surely be ditched in record time. Cool all the heartburn, people.

    Les (#34 & 41) has it right: both parties, both sides are just tools for the ultra-rich & corporate pigs who really control & rule the US. One thing he didn’t mention was that ‘divide & conquer’ is an old, old tactic, but very successful when it gets all of us peons fighting among ourselves instead of uniting against them, the common (& real) enemy.

  • Benjy

    What??????????????????What ever happened to free speech? I disagree with everything on Kos but believe in the right to free speech.

  • John G

    More political stunts… *sigh* Ya know, this is really the kind of thing that neither side should want.

    Can’t we all just talk without someone trying to silence us or punish us because they don’t agree with the opinion we profess?

    I’d say this is a right wing tactic, but unfortunately for you John, there are many right wingers who are more rational than yourself. So really, it’s a moron/boob/unAmerican fool/disrupt the system tactic.

    With you being said moron/boob/unAmerican in this case.

  • Omus

    “it’s too bad for conservatives: with these actions you are conceding that you’ve lost the internet”

    That’s exactly what’s going on. Sites like Kos are bottom up places where the community regulates itself. Redstate and others have a top-down style that makes for a less “democratic” feel. Also, compare the front pages of Kos and Redstate. Kos will have a single diary with more comments than all 15 front-page diaries on Redstate.

    When this complaint is tossed out in record time, will John Bambenek come back and feast on a large plate of crow?

  • Rational Objectivist

    After reading this thread carefully, I quite agree that there is significant risk in this course of action, but also agree that the best way to fight a bad law often is to enforce it rigorously. The anti-liberty crowd has already rammed through a truly horrendous anti-free-speech law (McCain-Feingold), and they (notice I’m not naming names here) routinely file baseless complaints against (usually) Republican commentators.

    I like the idea of fighting the entire idea of harassment with baseless complaints, with in turn complaints that, by contrast, actually hold merit under the law as it is stated. It’s justice. I’ve looked for the relevant page on filing a similar complaint.

    It appears to require nothing more than writing and mailing a simple, notarised first-class letter. Notarisation is free hereabouts at the County Clerk’s Office, and is available for a couple of dollars in many other places (banks, for instance).

    Mr. Bambenek, is there any bar to posting a link to your actual complaint? Do you have a postable copy? It would help with wording and formatting.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Leslie, my usage is more precise than yours. ‘Democratic groups’ suggests groups which are democratic and is much broader in definition. Saying ‘democrat groups’ is more precise, whether you choose to admit it or not.

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    RO hints at the real answer to all this in his comment. The problem is not that JB filed a complaint, it’s that we have election laws which try to restrict free speech in the first place, regardless of on what basis.

    Dave

  • Hesiod

    I’m looking at the recommended diary list over there now, and I’m seeing diaries about health care, congress, economics, Michael Moore (who is not running for election by the way), etc.

    So if the Daily Kos’s only purpose is getting Democrats elected, then why are all those other topics posted?

    That’s easy. Because, as everyone knows, discussing important issues and socio-economic problems that the voters care about hurts Republicans and help Democrats get elected.
    /snark.

  • Clavos

    Actually, “democratic groups” means groups which ARE democratic (the groups themselves) in their nature (i.e., hoe they conduct themselves), while “democrat groups” means groups OF democrats.

    And, obviously a group of democrats is not necessarily democratic.

  • Hesiod

    I have been a daily and avid reader of the political blogs for a few years.

    I think it is plainly obvious that several blogs, if not on the payroll directly, are being coordinated by “the Party”.

    Many readers just see DailyKos as tool firmly in the grip of the Party. Its nothing but PR and guerilla marketing and fundraising.

    I doubt that is true. I mean, that many readers see it as the marketing arm of the Democratic party. I think you are taking your understanding of Fox News and rightwing talk radio and applying it to Daily Kos. Since Fox News and rightwing talk radio (particularly Limbaugh and Hannity) are exactly as you described, you assume that Kos is as well.

    Well, Markos and some of the other editors may have been co-opted somewhat by the Democratic party, but Daily Kos is not one person or even a small group of people. It is a community of thousands of people who have their own individual opinions and regularly express them. There are diaries highly critical of the Democratic party and its politicians there every single day. There are even diaries highly critical of Markos! In some cases, they criticize him for being TOO in bed with the Democratic party establishment! If it was truly a party organ, it would not run those diaries. Ever.

    In fact, the level of criticism of the Democratic establishment on Daily Kos far outstrips the level of criticism levelled by Fox News of the GOP establishment. It’s not even close.

    So, by that standard, John’s whole argument is ridiculous.

  • The Man WIth No Name

    One word:

    YearlyKOS

    LOTS of democratic only speakers/candidates speaking this year. That is ‘new ground’

  • Brian

    Ahahahaha,

    Some people never, ever change. I got a good laugh seeing this, having not seen the name bambenek since the good ‘ol days of the uiuc.general newsgroup.

    Brian

  • http://the-truth-zone.blogspot.com Archangel M

    “#31 — July 24, 2007 @ 05:43AM — Michelle K.

    It’s bad enough that conservative talk show hosts are under attack from the politicians on Capitol Hill, but for a WRITER to file a complaint against the Daily Kos regarding a FREE SPEECH issue seems to me to be absurd.

    Don’t worry so much — if the Dems get their way we won’t have to worry about the 1st Amendment anymore as NO-ONE will have a voice — except maybe those that tow the government line (no matter who is in power).

    Why in the world would you want to introduce government control over the blogosphere/internet? While I totally dislike what they preach at DailyKos (it downright makes me ill frankly), I would never dream of trying to take them down this way… Their socialist(/communist) ideology will eventually do that by itself.

    Oh, and if by some evil miracle Hillary does get elected you won’t have to worry about political speech on the internet because she has a plan for that — to allow government censorship of all of it! (And I might add, a stunt like this will get the Dems even more riled up about the Anti-Free Speech Fairness Doctrine)

    Way to go, sir… PLEASE leave DailyKos alone, and please consider withdrawing your complaint — for the good of ALL of us! You have to know this will come back to bite conservatives as well if you go through with it.”

    Okay, I’ve read a bit down the list of comments and I have come to two conclusions:

    1.) The guy filing the FEC complaint against DailyKos is wasting his time, and taxpayer dollars. It seems that this has already been addressed and settled. If Bambenek is really set to humiliate himself in a futile cause, more power to him. But let us not hear him complain after his petition is dismissed on the grounds cited.

    2.) Those who criticize the Fairness Doctrine have no idea what is was, and no idea what re-enacting it would mean. Nor do they understand that there is no “liberal media” dominating the airwaves. Since the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated in 1987, conservative media entities have taken over the radio waves and have come to dominate the mainstream television airwaves. There are more conservative points of view promoted on networks such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News (and all their affiliates) than there are liberal — and this is especially true of Fox, which has no real liberal points of view. Nor is Fox prevented from promoting deceptions as facts, under the current policy. What the Fairness Doctrine would do, if it were to be restored to its 1987 status, is require radio and television news outlets to give equal time to opposing points of view. What critics fails to realize is that allowing equal time for liberal points of view would not prevent right-wingers from presenting their opinions — but seeing as how the truth destroys right-wing talking points every time, I can understand why conservatives would not want to give equal time to liberals on the air; they know we would kick their asses six ways to Sunday in on-air debates. Lastly, critics of the Fairness Doctrine forget that allowing equal time for opposing points of view works both ways; liberal networks (real or perceived) would also be required to give equal time to conservatives. So do me a favor, okay? Stop lying about the Fairness Doctrine. You’re so panicky about the other side being allowed an equal voice in the mainstream, corporate media that you’re not thinking about what equal time really means.

  • Hesiod

    Actually, “democratic groups” means groups which ARE democratic (the groups themselves) in their nature (i.e., hoe they conduct themselves), while “democrat groups” means groups OF democrats.

    And, obviously a group of democrats is not necessarily democratic.

    Ummm, nope.

    “Democratic” groups [capitalized “C”] means groups affiliated with the Democratic party.

    “democratic” groups [small “c”] means groups whose internal decision making process is characterized as some form of “democracy,” meaning popular vote.

    There is no such adjective as “Democrat,” or “democrat.”

    There is, however, a “Democrat,” or “democrat,” noun.

    Your use of “democrat,” as an adjective is incorrect English. It is the Democratic party, or the party of Democrats. It is not the “Democrat party.”

    Hope that clears things up.

  • Hesiod

    Actually, I oppose the “Fairness Doctrine” too. I think if that rule was reinstated, and somehow survived a Court challenge, it would actually hurt liberals and Democrats more than help us.

    You would see all of these token “liberals,” or “democrats” being hired by the likes of Fox news to ostensibly present “opposing viewpoints,” when noting in the doctrine says that the viewpoints have to be effectively communicated by a competent and credible messenger. Thgus, you’d get an even amer version of Alan Colmes, who just gets steamrolled by his conservative foil all the time. Or the guests invited on will be crazy wackos, or inarticulate yahoos.

    Or, alternatively, you can start out a comment by listing all of the opposing viewpoints in bullet points, and then “rebutting” each of them. So, technically, you can have Bill O’reilly attacking straw men, etc.

    We are already winning the war, slowly but surely, for public opinion without the fairness doctrine. We have basically taken over the internet as the base for our counterattack, and are far better at using it tahn the conservatives movement. This not only includes blogs, but youtube as well.

    The last thing I want is a mandate that Dunbcan Black, for example, has to have some crazy wingnut present an “opposing viewpoit” every ytime he posts a comment on his blog. That’s just stupid.

    Or, for that matter, forcing Keith Olbermann to do it.

    I say let well enough alone. We are styarting to make inroads, and are changing the debate. The GOP is on the run. Why in the world would we want to undermine that?

  • Hesiod

    One word:

    YearlyKOS

    LOTS of democratic only speakers/candidates speaking this year. That is ‘new ground’

    Which is being totally oraganized on a volunteer basis by Daily Kos members, and not by Markos or the Daily Kos business.

    It might be better to think of Daily Kos are more like a community such as a city rather than as a corporation. If people who live in the city want to organize a large townhall even for its citizens and invite a bunch of politicians to come to the convention, there’s nothing preventing them form diong so, or requiring them to register with the FEC.

  • Hesiod

    RO hints at the real answer to all this in his comment. The problem is not that JB filed a complaint, it’s that we have election laws which try to restrict free speech in the first place, regardless of on what basis.

    Which elections laws restrict your freedome to express your opinion?

    The only election laws I am aware of restrict how much money you can spend in order to express your opinion. Which, of course, is an attempt to promote the competition of ideas in the marketplace, not restrict them.

    If wealthy people get to spend a lot more money promoting tehir ideas than the average citizen does, who’s speech is going to get heard, and who’s isn’t?

  • Dumbass

    I agree with Mr. Bambenek and whatever he says, because he hates Democrats, and is willing to make stuff up to persuade people like me. Thanks, Mr. Bambenek. Mega dittoes!

  • Nancy

    A propos of nothing, I resent that these bastards think that my vote is for sale, or that I’m not going to look at what they’ve done as well as what they’ve said, & vote accordingly. I don’t care who has the most money. If anything, that counts against them. I don’t like endless propaganda being shoved down my throat, anymore than I tolerate advertising – which I don’t. The more I’m marketed to, the more I resist. Maybe I’m just contrary, but I don’t like being a target of anybody, for any reason, whether it’s saving my soul or picking my pocket.

  • Christian in NYC

    Sucks to have your intellectual head handed to you in front of an audience of thousands, eh, John B?

    I for one can’t wait for your “grumble grumble stupid FEC didn’t hear my idiotic complaint grumble grumble” post.

  • Dude

    The purpose is listed in the Daily Kos FAQ: “It’s a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory.”

  • Gabriel Sutherland

    How does Daily Kos get a “media exemption” if the site explains in their mission that the whole purpose of Daily Kos is to “elect Democrats”?

    This would be like political parties operating their own media operation and anything they do the FEC would have no oversight powers to review.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    ok…it appears some folks have missed the real Point here

    if no campaign money is coming into the organization, and the organization gives no money to any campaign or political Party…

    then if falls under freedom of speech/the press and as such is free from governmental regulation/restriction

    pretty simple, eh?

    now if they collect one thin dime from a candidate/Party, they are now in a different category…same if they(as an organization) give to a political Party/candidate

    all decisions cited so far revolve around that simple criteria

    Excelsior?

  • Jim C

    How uneducated can you be on this issue?

    InstaPundit: “this is a terrible idea”.

    NRO’s The Corner: “an outrage against the First Amendment that every conservative should fight vigorously.”

    RedState: “Let’s be clear, not only is Bambanek woefully uninformed about the law (didn’t we go over this for a whole freaking YEAR?) and its application on the internet, he’s even less capable of grasping the concept (and frankly, value) of free speech on the web…. This complaint is a sorry attempt to use government institutions to silence opponents. I’m almost grateful Bambanek apparently slept from March 2005 through the Summer of 2006, because the stunt has zero chance of success.”

  • Innocent Bystander

    LOTS of democratic only speakers/candidates speaking this year. That is ‘new ground’

    Like any Republican (well, maybe Ron Paul) would even consider showing up to that event? C’mon, the posters at dKos (I’m not a member) would absolutely love to have a Q&A dialogue with the Republican candidates. But Republicans seem to want their events choreographed and insulated….why’s that?

    Also, I see a lot of people singing the blues about McCain-Feingold. I’d love to see a $10.00 max donation to campaigns. Get corporate money out of our politics….then we’d have people elected who answer to all of the people, not just rich fatcats and corporate special interests. But that’d really put a crimp in Republican fundraising, wouldn’t it? Your base is the “haves and have mores” as the Commander Guy so eloquently explained it. Bet McCain and his Straight Talk Express is having second thoughts on that legislation, too.

  • http://angrytoyrobot.blogspot.com Dana Curtis Kincaid

    John,

    You are mixing apples and oranges and metaphors and laws all up in a big puddle of goo here. Why don’t you get off the high horse, chill for a bit, and actually think instead of reacting.

    You are WRONG, John. So, as you seem so fond of saying, “Move along”.

  • T Mcgill

    Amazing how many e-lawyers are in the house.

    All I see here is fear. If Markos asked his members for contributions and ended up in some “Swift boat” like group, he could have it.

    In short, your arguments are pointless and you made a bold attempt to be academic, yet failed.

    Kinda funny how “The Right” bitches and moans about the government until they want it to do something for them.

  • http://angrytoyrobot.blogspot.com Dana Curtis Kincaid

    “While I totally dislike what they preach at DailyKos (it downright makes me ill frankly), I would never dream of trying to take them down this way… Their socialist(/communist) ideology will eventually do that by itself.” – Archangel M

    Archangel, you are proceeding under the mistaken assumption that everyone on Kos thinks, acts and writes exactly the same things. I used to vote Republican, and occasionally independent. Why have I done a 180? Why do I blog on DK? Because the Republicans have turned into a lot of useless bloody loonies, at least the higher up muckety-mucks have, with amazing breadth of arrogance and incompetence.

    When the Republicans dump all remnants of DeLay/Bush/Rove/Cheney and all their policies, when they stop trying to build their base thru hatred (see GLBT issues and immigration), and when they stop kowtowing to televangelists – who are certainly the scum of the planet next to politicians, I’ll consider voting Republican again.

    Thanks!

    Dana Kincaid
    Ad Astra per Aspera

  • Gabriel Sutherland

    Dana Curtis Kincaid: How is John wrong? You say he is, yet you offer no explanation or rebuttal to buttress your opinion.

  • Adam B.

    Gabriel asks: How does Daily Kos get a “media exemption” if the site explains in their mission that the whole purpose of Daily Kos is to “elect Democrats”? This would be like political parties operating their own media operation and anything they do the FEC would have no oversight powers to review.

    The media exception itself covers this — if you’re “owned or controlled” by a candidate, party or PAC, you don’t get the exemption. But beyond that, the FEC isn’t going to look at the content of your speech to see if you’re “too partisan”. Take a look at the FiredUp inquiry — that’s exactly how it goes.

  • JWS

    I disagree with the premise of this filing because I don’t believe the government should be limiting political speech. However, I can’t believe there are some who think DailyKos is not a financial funnel for Democrat dollars.

    Take a look through the DKos FAQ and you’ll find their stated purpose for the site:

    “This is a Democratic blog, a partisan blog. One that recognizes that Democrats run from left to right on the ideological spectrum, and yet we’re all still in this fight together. We happily embrace centrists like NDN’s Simon Rosenberg and Howard Dean, conservatives like Martin Frost and Brad Carson, and liberals like John Kerry and Barack Obama. Liberal? Yeah, we’re around here and we’re proud. But it’s not a liberal blog. It’s a Democratic blog with one goal in mind: electoral victory. And since we haven’t gotten any of that from the current crew, we’re one more thing: a reform blog. The battle for the party is not an ideological battle. It’s one between establishment and anti-establishment factions. And as I’ve said a million times, the status quo is untenable”

    Their goal is to elect Democrats. Period. The fact that they share ideologies through diaries is secondary.

  • Gabriel Sutherland

    Adam B.: OK. Thanks for the response.

    But is Daily Kos “owned or controlled” by a candidate, party or PAC? The evidence suggests it’s pretty darn close to ownership.

    1) Incumbants, prospective candidates, and actual candidates post commentaries on Daily Kos. They ask for financial support. They ask for volunteers. They ask for readers to lobby their elected officials.

    2) Daily Kos ENDORSES candidates in Democrat primaries and in general elections.

    3) Daily Kos raises money for candidates for political office.

    4) Daily Kos sells ad space to candidates for political office.

    5) Daily Kos can be hired by candidates for political office.

    I think MMZ is a pretty smart guy. He’s tip toeing the edge at the moment. He’s put a lot of work into creating the image that Daily Kos is independent of political control, but the more you scrutinize the activities of Daily Kos the more obvious it becomes that it’s not just a blog or a group blog or a media outlet.

  • Deadeye

    The behavior of Kos loyalists who have descended on this article en masse and proceded to rant at the author and everyone else reflects very poorly on Kos and the quality of intellect which it attracts. It’s a partisan snakepit, but it does have an absolute right to be heard.

  • Adam B.

    Gabriel: the site is owned by Kos Media, LLC, not a candidate, party or PAC. The Democratic Party no more “owns” DailyKos than the Republican Party “owns” Fox News or the New York Post.

    None of your #1-4 have anything to do with ownership; it’s no different that what a newspaper’s opinion page or talk radio allows. Heck, Sean Hannity both solicited funds for and gave funds to a Senate candidate during a 2005 radio show; it happens all the time. Remember, too, that on the fundraising, the money goes directly to the candidates; the site never touches the funds.

    #5 is false.

  • colleen

    John,

    Thank you for your efforts. It’s my hope that eventually the owner and admins at Daily Kos will be forced to admit that it’s a site for and run by ‘centrist’ democratic operatives and corporate lawyers.

  • jdp

    Dave, how in the world did you reach the conclusion about the University of Houston? Was enjoying the bantering until that sudden turn.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    can that come about 20 minutes after Fox news and all the AM talk show folks admit they are shills?

    and it just doesn’t matter as it pertains to the applicable Laws involved

    for the Record, i’ve never even logged onto the Kos site

    Excelsior?

  • Gabriel Sutherland

    Adam B.: Howard Dean hired MMZ and Jerome Armstrong to work for his political campaign.

    Newspapers do not raise money for candidates for political office. If they do, enlighten me.

  • http://www.lonesomerobot.net lonesomerobot

    JWS-
    “Their goal is to elect Democrats. Period. The fact that they share ideologies through diaries is secondary.”

    having a stated purpose of partisan electoral victory isn’t against the law, nor does it require one to register as a political action committee.

    the problem with your argument is that you can go to dailykos and see that the site is dominated by stories and diaries that have nothing to do with electoral politics.

    if my website said DEDICATED TO ELECTING DEMOCRATS at the top it still wouldn’t be grounds for the fec to fine me or demand that i register as a political action committee. it would have to be proven that i am directly involved with fundraising or the receipt of funds from democratic candidates (which i’m not).

    furthermore, anyone who has followed dailykos for any amount of time has to know that the site doesn’t take its cues from the democratic party. if anything, it’s the opposite: democrats have reluctantly begun to pay attention to dailykos, which has been far ahead of the party in terms of public opinion.

    let’s not forget that before the last election, it was democratic “mainstream” pundits that were among those saying the netroots hadn’t produced a single electoral winner (and doubting that they ever would).

  • Tal

    As a journalist, may I please point out the difference between blogs and broadcast?

    The reason the Fairness Doctrine was introduced was because broadcast channels are both powerful and–this is key–limited. At the time, the only broadcast media in existence were a handful of TV networks and radio stations. They essentially had a captive audience to which they could deliver political messsages. Requiring a counterpoint view for these limited channels helped keep the networks from becoming Pravda.

    Even now, with hundreds of cable channels, there are still only a handful of networks that discuss political issues, and the public has little to no access to producing its own content for these channels. This means that the Fairness Doctrine is still needed for broadcast. When there is only one truly liberal commenter on all three cable news networks, the Doctrine is clearly needed. It’s true that there are pitfalls to this–Fox gets inarticulate, pathetic token liberals all the time–but something needs to be done.

    NONE of this applies to the Internet. Anyone with a Net connection (which one can get at most public libraries) and some concept of how to write can start up his or her own blog or site to spout whatever he or she feels like spouting. It takes all of five minutes to set up a free LiveJournal or MySpace account that one can then use for any political purpose one wants.

    There’s no need for the Doctrine or any other election restrictions to apply to independent online commentary because as long as there is net neutrality, everyone has equal access to these electronic soapboxes.

    Additionally, I would like to ensure that everyone here understands what “freedom of speech” really means.

    The First Amendment and all its protections applies ONLY to government control. Private entitites are well within their rights to modify speech as they see fit. If BlogCritics wants to pull a given post, it can. If a message board administrator wants to ban someone, he or she can.

    Just as owners of private homes or business establishments can toss out someone who is being disruptive or even someone who is just saying something they don’t like, owners of private spaces on the Net can do so as well.

    And again, the difference between the limited space of and access to broadcast and the unlimited space of and access to the Net applies. Just as the government can regulate time and manner of speech in a public square so as to not deprive the rest of the public of its rights in favor of a single other person, it can regulate the speech on broadcast for the same reasons (hence FCC regulations about adult language and content.)

  • Adam B.

    That was in 2003-04, Gabriel, fully disclosed at the time (Armstrong actually quit blogging), and hasn’t happened in the years since then.

    Re fundraising, my favorite example is the December 5, 2003, Charles Krauthammer WaPo column in which he encouraged readers to send donations “not exceed $2,000 ($4,000 for a married couple)” to the Republican National Committee in order to oppose Gov. Howard Dean’s presidential bid.

    Also, see FEC Advisory Opinion 1980-109 (“The Ruff Times”), which explicitly authorizes fundraising by media entities.

  • Juan

    Editorial pages of newspapers endorse candidates.

  • Neo

    I’m not too sure that this attempt is wrong.

    I was shocked, really shocked, [no pun or satire here] that Kos had the stated intention of his blog to “elect Democrats”.

    Frankly, I thought he had set himself up for a big regulatory buzz saw.

    I’ve seen issue groups with a lot less clout that Kos in a sh*tload of trouble for chartering a bus trip. Just how Kos thought (or maybe he didn’t) he could “get away” with this sort of thing shows a real naivety on his part.

    My bet is that if Kos ever became a real burden to the DNC et al, that this sort of charge would show up at the door of the FEC (and made to look like it was from the RNC).

    If I were Kos (and thank the Lord that I’m not) or any other equally naive blogger or activist, I would do a bit of legal restructuring to make this matter moot.

  • JWS

    lonesomerobot-
    “having a stated purpose of partisan electoral victory isn’t against the law, nor does it require one to register as a political action committee.

    the problem with your argument is that you can go to dailykos and see that the site is dominated by stories and diaries that have nothing to do with electoral politics.

    if my website said DEDICATED TO ELECTING DEMOCRATS at the top it still wouldn’t be grounds for the fec to fine me or demand that i register as a political action committee. it would have to be proven that i am directly involved with fundraising or the receipt of funds from democratic candidates (which i’m not).”

    I’m not sure what “argument” you’re applying to me but I’m fairly certain that you didn’t properly process my post. Apparently you’re using the standard Leftist “I know more about what you’re thinking than you do” approach to debates.

    I don’t care if DKos is considered a PAC or not. They can promote whoever they want for all I care.
    The only problem that I have is with people who deny the fact that the site is part of the Democrat Party machine. Not only is it obvious to any regular reader (I wander through a few times a week) but, as I pointed out, it’s a stated purpose by the site creator.

  • http://www.lonesomerobot.net lonesomerobot

    next, let me respond to this:

    “The behavior of Kos loyalists who have descended on this article en masse and proceded to rant at the author and everyone else reflects very poorly on Kos and the quality of intellect which it attracts. It’s a partisan snakepit, but it does have an absolute right to be heard.”

    well, i thought that commenters on kos were supposed to be akin to nazis and klansmen. looking back on this thread, i see nothing of the sort. nor do i see much that reflects poorly on the “quality of intellect” you disparage here. perhaps the debate has been too robust for your tastes, deadeye? what i see is a diverse collection of many different opinions that may be partisan (actually ideological) but is hardly controllable. it would be about as easy for the democratic party to rein in dailykos as it would be for them to herd wild cats.

    in case you haven’t realized it, dailykos readers aren’t the only ones ranting at the author, as noted above by jim c…

    InstaPundit: “this is a terrible idea”.

    NRO’s The Corner: “an outrage against the First Amendment that every conservative should fight vigorously.”

    RedState: “Let’s be clear, not only is Bambanek woefully uninformed about the law (didn’t we go over this for a whole freaking YEAR?) and its application on the internet, he’s even less capable of grasping the concept (and frankly, value) of free speech on the web…. This complaint is a sorry attempt to use government institutions to silence opponents. I’m almost grateful Bambanek apparently slept from March 2005 through the Summer of 2006, because the stunt has zero chance of success.”

  • http://mcgath.blogspot.com Gary McGath

    “Personal attacks are not allowed.”

    Except by you when you want to censor other people, obviously.
    [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor.]

  • Nancy

    Gary #142 – who are you addressing?

  • andrea thorn

    It looks to me like the KosKids were actually worried this might happen, so apparently there is some merit to the concern.

    In my opinion though, you’re better off supporting their “hate speech” legislation. It will be funny to watch how fast it becomes illegal to write blog posts about hating Christians and Republicans.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    more Fun to see Xtian Republicans charged with hate speech against Satanists and Atheists

    that would close many churches really fast, eh?

    now ain’t that an interesting Thought…?

    heh

    Excelsior?

  • Innocent Bystander

    “My bet is that if Kos ever became a real burden to the DNC et al, that this sort of charge would show up at the door of the FEC (and made to look like it was from the RNC).”

    You could well be right. I think Kos cares a whole lot less about being a rigid Democratic ideologue and is a lot more pragmatic in the need to kick the current amalgam of Republicans out. He was a Reublican at one time.

    I know I’d be a voting Republican, probably posting at RedState if the tables were turned and Democrats were doing the things that Republicans are doing to our Constitution.

  • Nancy

    Innocent, I don’t think it’s all Republicans; it’s Dubya & Cheney – or rather, Cheney & Dubya, to give them their proper precedence. A psycho madman & a megalomaniacal, alcoholic stumblebum in charge in the WH, guided by a moral/ethical black hole like Rove. I doubt we can sink lower than this.

  • http://www.lonesomerobot.net lonesomerobot

    “Apparently you’re using the standard Leftist “I know more about what you’re thinking than you do” approach to debates.”

    actually, no. and ooooh, you said “leftist,” with a capital “L”! that means i wear a che guevera t-shirt, right?

    does that also mean you use the standard “Wingnut” tactic of believing by declaring me a “liberal” or a “leftist” that i have no credibility in a debate? so you agree with someone’s right to free speech, (even if they are a dirty leftist)…but of course SOME people are just not worth hearing. got that, “Leftys”?

    y’know, jws, demonizing speech from certain sources is just another form of suppressing it. but as long as you believe “leftists” have a right to say what they want…

    “The only problem that I have is with people who deny the fact that the site is part of the Democrat Party machine. Not only is it obvious to any regular reader (I wander through a few times a week) but, as I pointed out, it’s a stated purpose by the site creator.”

    as i’ve just said in my previous comment, anyone with any knowledge of the history of dailykos knows that as recently as last year democratic pundits were mocking the site as a failure in their stated purpose of electing democrats and something that need not be taken seriously. that tune has changed — now the party both prizes and fears dailykos, but certainly doesn’t have any operational control over it. however, until last year the site was still being ignored, by and large, by the party itself (though not the partisans, i will grant you).

    because of the structure of the site and the fact that any registered user can post a diary, the party lacks message control. look more closely, jws, and you’ll find sharp critiques and even outright condemnation of the party on some issues.

    this, in and of itself, should be enough to disprove it as part of the “Democrat Party machine.”

    hmmmm. “Democrat Party,” jws? methinks your right wing is showing.

    oh, is that a bad thing? well, i guess we’ll let the readers decide.

  • JWS

    lonesomerobot-
    “oh, is that a bad thing? well, i guess we’ll let the readers decide.”

    Indeed. While I continue to comment on the facts before my eyes, you continue to conjure them out of thin air.
    I don’t think readers will have much trouble.

  • Vadept

    And if the shoe were on the other foot? I cannot countenance trying to silence my political opponents simply because they are my political opponents. Perhaps next we should try muzzling Michael Moore and his ilk! After all, isn’t it “the same as they’re trying to do to Rush Limbaugh”?

    How about we all take a step back, and remember that speech is SUPPOSED to be protected in this country. If someone wants to promote someone I ideologically disagree with, then I just need to promote my guy harder. That’s all.

    Talk is free. Regulation, however, always costs more than you anticipate.

  • http://www.lonesomerobot.net lonesomerobot

    the fact is you don’t seem to know much about dailykos or markos himself — or me, for that matter. my interest in the site, as a former libertarian, is one of markos’ other stated goals for the democratic party – to convince democrats that libertarian and democratic goals aren’t mutually exclusive.

    so markos wants democrats to realize that things like balanced budgets, less government intrusion into the private lives of citizens and budget surpluses aren’t necessarily bad things.

    try and figure that into your “facts”.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Dave:

    Your grammar was not “more precise.” It was WRONG. INCORRECT. I understand the writing problem you faced: how to distinguish between groups that are democratic in nature and groups made up of democrats. You solved it incorrectly, by using a noun as an adjective. This was WRONG. A MISTAKE. (apparently this is hard for you to admit)

    Try:
    groups of Democrats or
    groups of democrats, whichever the case may be.

    “Precise” language uses correct grammar.
    “Democrat” isn’t an adjective and cannot be used as one.

  • http://frogsonthemoon.blogspot.com/ froggyprager

    Are you aware that blogs actually do get cash from campaigns. Not just ad reveneue. See this article from Mother Jones

    I am a liberal but it seems like the campaign/blog/journalist line has been crossed with this type of action. They are not independent journalists.

  • HT

    KOS is paid 100,000 a year to do this work.

  • Lisa

    Leslie:

    So “history book” is also incorrect grammar? History is not an adjetive.

  • Lisa

    Mispelled adjective in a grammar discussion -ugh. Anyway, should we say “book of history” instead?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Lisa, all the grammar argument illustrates is the insane hypersensitivity of people on the left to the equally silly rhetorical pettiness of those on the right who insist that the democratic party be called the democrat party because it’s not democratic.

    It caused a number of people to overreact to my perfectly legitimate use of ‘democrat groups’ which as I pointed out is the same usage as ‘history books’ or ‘color pencil’ or ‘wool sweater’ or ‘idiot pedant’ or ‘pedant idiot’ – all acceptable phrases where two nouns are paired without using the adjectival form of one. Clearly this grammatical structure exists and to try to deny its existence is ridiculous.

    Dave

  • Dude

    “Don’t worry so much — if the Dems get their way we won’t have to worry about the 1st Amendment anymore as NO-ONE will have a voice — except maybe those that tow the government line (no matter who is in power).”

    I nearly choke on laughter and sadness at the same time when apologists for the party of “Free Speech Zones” and “Town Hall Meetings” tries to pin their own legacy of suppression of dissension on others.

  • Conservatively Liberal

    “Clearly this grammatical structure exists and to try to deny its existence is ridiculous.”

    These strict linguists also fail to realize that language is a reflection of a culture, and the language will evolve to transform the usage of some words in ways unforeseen by previous generations. Hence the reason that “google” is now a verb, as well as a noun.

  • Clavos

    From:

    The Columbia Guide to Standard American English:

    “NOUN PHRASES

    are multiword structures that are not clauses and that are used as nouns: Riding my exercise bike every evening is a bore. A noun plus its modifiers is also called a noun phrase: the tallest building in the city, for example, is a noun phrase in which building is the noun headword.” (emphasis added)

  • Orange DillDoughs So Funny

    Adam B, you are frauds. The FEC is the least of your worries. Markos’ pom pom site a la Limbaugh is oppressive, mysogynistic and the very antithesis of what formerly were Democratic Party values– remember the “cun%” “bitc%” “Whor*” comment from Delaware Dem aka Jason Melrath? Markos reaction? Pastor Dan? Nada from the FP’ers cowards and frauds all. Hey does Melrath still blog during billable hours ? You? I wonder how you’ll love the media exemption when it protects the rest of us in a very well timed public disclosures that are forthcoming. Think Sundance quality. Turning Orange, Maroon?. Cool off in a Speech Corral back on your site….see ya in Chicago…. in the hotel.

  • Lumpy

    Dude. Just to clarify one thing for u. The idea of “free speech zones” originated with leftist administrations on university campuses in the 80s specifically to restrict the free speech of religious and anti-abortiion groups whose activities had become widespread and intrusive. I remember not being able to walk across campus without being handed a half dozen flyers about jesus and the poor fetuses and having access to buildings blocked by rallies and protests of some sort.

    It was all free speech, but it was disruptive and more right wing than left wing. So I understand why administraators who are overwhelmingly socialists created free speech zones.

  • zingzing

    dave, making a public spectacle of yourself certainly helps. why was “jackass” so popular? it was a bunch of idiots making asses of themselves for public consumption. no difference here.

    sometimes, bambenek’s articles make a certain amount of sense, at least from a warped perspective. most of the time, everyone except the most dogmatic conservative can see through his shit.

  • Bruce Menin

    Dave-
    Thank you for your earlier response regarding the Kucinich ad on this site. It makes sense to me, and was delivered without the toxicity that seems to slip into this discussion at times.

    I cannot, however, resist tweaking one of your later responses…

    “Well, now we know where leftist kool-aid drinkers come from. They’re a product of the fine remedial literacy program that is the University of Houston, where most of the curriculum is consumed with teaching basics which their students failed to learn in public school.”

    That wouldn’t be the same state school system that made remarkable progress in basic literacy during the Bush governorship, only to discover, after his election to the Presidency, that there had been a wholesale, organized effort by a number of school systems within the state to artificially inflate standardized test scores? With the wink, wink, willingness to look the other way by the state educational administrators?

    As an elected school committee member, I have to say I have followed the educational policy “debate” closely, and wish that Mr. B. would channel his considerable energy into ensuring that the basic goals of the NCLB legislation were funded at something more than 15% of the levels the Congress and President concluded would be needed to said educational goals. Instead, we have to comply with all the legislative targets for improving student achievement, without the funds that both parties agreed it would take to do so.

    The net result has been to burden-shift costs for education onto states, which in turn, shift them to local communities, while holding states and communities accountable to academic requirements set at the national level; failure to meet those goals results in– you guessed it– loss of federal funds, among other things.

    No, really, the net result has probably more to do with your comment quoted above. Lower literacy rates, more money for remediation, lowered college admission standards, a lack of student experience in dialogue about the civics component of citizenship. We have actually perfected a formula, and reinforced it by accommodating national priorities that has had the net effect of reducing our ability to compete in the world market. Hell, it is reducing our ability to post to Internet sites coherently, or fill out job applications. Incompetence and irresponsibility, or merely coincidence?

    Consider putting energy into that, and move away from your parsing the first amendment and tilting at windmills; because your point is irrelevant if we produce a generation less literate than the last one, and while much progress has been made in looking at wind power as an energy alternative, five percent of the subsidies given big oil every year would provide the seed money to convert far more communities to alternative energy than can currently afford to do so.

    And for the record, I have always hated kool-aid; anyone who has ever visited a sugar-cane plantation would, even if the taste of the stuff wasn’t enough to put you off it.

    bruce

  • http://francislholland.blogspot.com Franc is L. Holland

    There are a lot of people who don’t like how DailyKos does business and don’t trust Markos Alberto Moulitsas ZÚÑIGA (MAMZ) to “crashes the gates,” of the Democratic Party and make it better. Because we have learned that MAMZ spent six months training at the CIA in 2001, is from a super-wealthy Salvadoran oligarchy family even though he tells the public he is from a poor immigrant family, and participants in his Salvadoran family business also participate in Salvadoran organizations connected to death squads, some of us simply can never trust MAMZ again after learning these things about him.

    And then when we learn that his “family business” is associated with the pollution of the Jaltepeque Estuary and his “family business” manager is associated with Baja Salt, a company that has polluted grey whale spawning grounds in Baja Mexico, we begun to wonder whether we should still accept MAMZ’s proclamations of progressiveness at face value?

    MAMZ’s supporters don’t want to know more facts about his background, but his detractors will certainly want to read ALL of the freshly researched information and newly reported facts about MAMZ and his “family business,” published at “The Truth About Kos Blog.”

  • http://mypetjawa.mu.nu Good Lt.

    I agree with the majority here that this is not only a bad idea, but has been decided upon already.

    That said, I saw this old chestnut a ways back up in the thread, and it deserves a tangentially-related response:

    “seems like a typical kneejerk response by today’s brand of republicans — instead of analyzing your own failure and trying to improve, you’re looking at someone else’s success and saying ‘we have to get the government (which we hate, of course) to STOP IT.'”

    I just had to chuckle, because it is the Democrat Party that is braying about, voting for, and advocating the return of the Fairness Doctrine, for the sole purpose of shutting down conservative talk radio (talk radio is a programming format in which liberals have traditionally struggled greatly for commercial success due to a saturated media marketplace that already promotes their opinions in a variety of formats and styles, ie. Air America, NPR, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, newspapers, magazines, movies, music, etc.). For those keeping score, that’s using the government to silence political opinions and speech they don’t like. In the older days, this was known as the “Hush Rush” Doctrine. It still is.

    Don’t gimme the BS about “public airwaves.” That was written in a day where any one radio dial (radio being the only broadcast medium available) had three or four frequencies TOTAL. It was written to keep frequencies from clashing with one another, and since there were so few, they had to be a bit more “balanced” because of the scarcity of frequencies. There are dozens of radio stations every 50 miles in this country, with all kinds of talk, news, subject matter, political opinion, etc. There is now the Internet, TV, cable, Direct TV, satellite radio, YouTube, print media, etc. There are many choices for media consumers – they are not forced to listen to conservative talk radio. You can find it on one or two frequencies per market, among dozens and dozens of other stations and formats in each market. Its called choice. People choose to listen to it, making it commercially viable. That’s freedom. Restricting the choice is not freedom, and using the government to do it is de facto censorship. The Doctrine was struck down because it was overly restrictive and nearly killed the AM band (under a Democrat congress, no less). The threats to return it and to expand the FCC’s power to regulate political opinions, programming, and content on the air are violations of the First Amendment, which I’ve seen quoted on this thread many times.

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”

    Pretty straightforward. No laws governing speech, opinions, media or the press. If the clowns in government don’t like it, they should find another line of work.

    Trying to act like “Republicans” are moving to stifle liberal opinions using the government is laughable given the Democrats’ recent efforts to “threaten” people with an outdated piece of archaic and Stalinist legislation that Hugo Chavez is implementing in his own country to cement his stranglehold on the government. Simply laughable.

    Otherwise, this motion is a bad idea. Let Kos be Kos. Let Red State be Red State. Let Rush be Rush. Let Olbermann br Olbermann. We’re all better off with more choices, not less. I think (or at least hope) we can all agree with that.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I cannot, however, resist tweaking one of your later responses…

    What am I here for if not to be tweaked?

    That wouldn’t be the same state school system that made remarkable progress in basic literacy during the Bush governorship, only to discover, after his election to the Presidency, that there had been a wholesale, organized effort by a number of school systems within the state to artificially inflate standardized test scores? With the wink, wink, willingness to look the other way by the state educational administrators?

    My personal experience with the school system as both an educator and a parent during the Bush administration did not convince me that it made all that much progress while he was running things. But in Texas the success or failure of the schools has little or nothing to do with the governor or his policies. It’s the legislature, the courts and the incredibly short-sighted and corrupt school boards and administrators which screw things up.

    As an elected school committee member, I have to say I have followed the educational policy “debate” closely, and wish that Mr. B. would channel his considerable energy into ensuring that the basic goals of the NCLB legislation were funded at something more than 15% of the levels the Congress and President concluded would be needed to said educational goals. Instead, we have to comply with all the legislative targets for improving student achievement, without the funds that both parties agreed it would take to do so.

    As a fellow (former) elected school committee member, I don’t really see how NCLB would really be of any use regardless of how it’s funded or implemented. It’s not the right solution to the problem. The solution is to let teachers teach, reduce their paperwork burden, and hold them accountable for the quality of the work they do. The first step in achieving this would be to pass laws restricting the growth of school administrative bureaucracy and limiting the power of the teachers unions.

    No, really, the net result has probably more to do with your comment quoted above. Lower literacy rates, more money for remediation, lowered college admission standards, a lack of student experience in dialogue about the civics component of citizenship. We have actually perfected a formula, and reinforced it by accommodating national priorities that has had the net effect of reducing our ability to compete in the world market. Hell, it is reducing our ability to post to Internet sites coherently, or fill out job applications. Incompetence and irresponsibility, or merely coincidence?

    You’ve got the beginnings of the answer, but you didn’t quite make it to the ultimate conclusion, which is that the way the system is structured right now, there is a built in incentive for the administrators to fail, because the worse their students do the more money they get to try to throw at the problem, the more people they hire, the more special facilities and grants they get, and NONE of that will make up for a lack of leadership and accountability.

    Consider putting energy into that, and move away from your parsing the first amendment and tilting at windmills; because your point is irrelevant if we produce a generation less literate than the last one, and while much progress has been made in looking at wind power as an energy alternative, five percent of the subsidies given big oil every year would provide the seed money to convert far more communities to alternative energy than can currently afford to do so.

    You should read some of my articles. This FEC silliness isn’t my issue. I just offered a couple of comments. I’m much more interested in the things you mention, like education reform and alterative energy.

    And for the record, I have always hated kool-aid; anyone who has ever visited a sugar-cane plantation would, even if the taste of the stuff wasn’t enough to put you off it.

    Plus the big kool-aid guy is like a terrorst of some sort, always knocking down walls and harassing kids.

    dave

  • Daily BS

    “First, most bloggers aren’t organizations.”

    Uh, what? You make it sound like there are only a few bloggers that aren’t organizations. Certainly the individual’s made blogging popular, but then organizations caught on and are now blogging, and some, like Daily Kos became organizations.

    “They’ve made themselves subject to the FEC when they decided to be an arm of the Democratic Party.”

    Existing to elect politicians who are in line with your views, donating to those politicians or groups who are in line with your views, does not make you an arm of the Democratic Party, any more then Anne Coultur is an arm of the Republican Party.

  • RSS

    “JB certainly knows how to attract lots of comments to his articles, anyway. Something to be said for that.

    Dave”

    It’s called RSS feeds.

  • Leslie Bohn

    Dave:

    Oh, now I get it, Dave, sorry.

    “more precise”

    “democrat party”

    “whether you’re willing to admit it or not.”

    I now understand your incorrect grammar, and

    Megadittos!

    Leslie

  • http://www.lonesomerobot.net lonesomerobot

    well, good lt., thanks for the response to my post. now i have to chuckle back because you miss the point entirely. it’s not democrats who run on the conservative principles of less government regulation and interference in our lives, it’s republicans.

    you see, although i wasn’t talking about the fairness doctrine, for the democrats to enact it wouldn’t be hypocritical with respect to liberal ideology. as a former libertarian, i don’t necessarily agree with the more regulatory aspects of liberalism, but i can cope with that much more than i can cope with the sheer hypocrisy of deficit running, ludicrously spending, we hate the gov’t but we’ll still make it work for us republicans. if you can’t see how a supposed conservative running to the government to fix their problems is hypocritical, then you are a true republican.

    you see, i don’t actually like the democratic party that much, but i basically despise republicans because they don’t even come close to delivering on what they say they advocate. moreover, they’ve wrapped themselves in the dogma of social conservatism which has shown a propensity for legislating morality. so for the time being i’m voting for democrats instead of libertarians just because the republican party has become an exercise in utter hypocrisy.

    incidentally, i actually listen to quite a bit of talk radio and find it very entertaining. to listen to an adult engage in a childish rant on our free and public airwaves on a practically daily basis is almost as humorous as reading a comment wherein the writer employs a juvenile tactic like repeatedly calling someone a name that annoys them…like say, for instance, “the democrat party”. sounds like something my older brother would have done when he was 12.

  • Clarence Butterworth

    Better file a complaint against Freerepublic.com and Little Green Footballs while you’re at it. Unles you’re filing merely because you don’t like Kos, which what I believe is the case.

  • Rafe Stanley

    “Second, most bloggers are read by like 3 people and their posts are certainly not worth $1,000″

    Does this guy sum up his own articles or what? I wonder how long after O’reilly started railing against Kos that the author got the idea to do the same. Fair, balanced and now 100% less originality than ever.

  • Clavos

    Well, it’s certainly not as entertaining as all those people figuratively fellating each other on the Daily Krotch…

  • Clarence Butterworth

    O’Reilly’s railing about Kos last night was an embarrassing display. First of all, the “plants from kos” writing naughty things on his(O’Reilly’s) board must have had access to a time machine.

    Second of all, O’Reilly came off as a card carrying memebr of the thought police.

  • Immolate

    FCC and FEC regulation of blogs is undesirable and counterproductive. It is also pointless. Any blog so regulated could quickly move itself off-shore and proceed with business as usual. Happily, the FEC seems disinclined to move in that direction. Most of the time, when there is an obviously correct alternative, the government will choose it. Most of the time.

    Likewise, the Fairness Doctrine is undesirable. Has conservative commentary on the air drowned out liberal commentary by some artificial means? Why did Air America fail? It had access to some good markets, but failed to accumulate significant market share. Was some conservative cabal actively infiltrating and sabotaging their staff? Did Clear Channel buy nearby frequencies and build massive transmitters to bleed into the liberal frequencies? Or, is it just possible that not that many people were interested in listening to liberal talk radio? Is it possible that liberals are far less likely to choose a talk format over their favorite music station? Is it possible that the talent on the liberal shows was not terribly entertaining or interesting? Are there any top-notch liberal radio personalities? How are they doing?

    To presume that the point of the fairness doctrine is not to silence conservative talk radio; to say that conservative talk radio will not be silenced by its implementation–this is a load of hooey. Radio stations are businesses. If a conservative host can net them 12% for three hours, but a liberal host for equal time gets them 1% for the matching three hours, the average of 6.5% had better be competitive financially, or the station will pitch the conservative and liberal both in favor of something that does better than 6.5% and is less controversial. Maybe Limbaugh and Hannity will survive that, but how many others?

    So many treat politics as a focus for a larger struggle between conseratism and liberalism–preservation of the status quo versus change–in which one side or the other will emerge victorius and the loser will die a well-deserved death and be heard from no more. The obvious, undeniable, in-your-face truth is that these two forced, conservatism and liberalism, must both be present within a range of balance for any society to be healthy. We need to recognize and preserve that which is good. We need to recognize and embrace that which is better. To avoid the former would render us incapable of consolidating our gains. To avoid the latter would result in stagnation and collapse.

    The vast majority of people will seek a healthy balance between the two. In that quest, they will find entertainment and information from whatever source most appeals to them. There are very few captive audiences in the 21st century. In a perfect world, everyone would have access to every legitimate viewpoint explained and explored in a truthful, factual and dispassionate way. But this is not a perfect world. The next best thing is to have every viewpoint available in some way, shape or form in as many venues as possible so that a curious person can find the truth through diligent effort. That is what we have courtesy of the free market. Yes, liberals gravitate toward big market television, papers and blogs because those media are the most rewarding to them. Conservatives gravitate toward syndicated radio and blogs because that works best for them.

    I disagree with John Bambenek, I disagree with those who claim that John is representative of the conservative blogosphere or conservatives in general, and I disagree with those who thing that government interference is a good thing in radio and/or television.

    I do have a bit of advise for the liberal radio people out there: find someone who is good at it and can succeed at a local level before you promote them to national syndication. Might work better. You might even want to try a center-left personality every once in a while and see how that works. No charge if it works.

  • Franco

    #17 — Adam B.

    John, the “reform” groups explicitly argued before the FEC in the FiredUp case that “an organization whose stated purpose is to be the functional equivalent of a partisan campaign organization — to elect Democratic candidates and to solicit contributions for such candidates — does not qualify for the press exemption.”

    Dose this apply if the organization is owned my a major international media center? If it does please show me the law that says this. Thank you.

  • Adam B.

    Franco, the reform groups lost that argument; FiredUp received the protection, as would anyone else doing news/commentary/editorial on federal candidates so long as they’re not owned/controlled by a candidate, party or PAC.

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    The difference here is that Kos Media is a de facto PAC.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    it is?

    how so…do you have evidence of a direct link of cash to or from a campaign?

    if so, please cite your proof

    it will be interesting indeed, there is the distinct possibility that Fox News could be caught under the same reasoning you appear to be utilizing here

    just a single example – Newt Gingrich is the Senior Political Editor for Fox..yet according to his own calendar, he spends at least one third of every month raising money for the GOP

    does this make Fox a de facto PAC as well?

    as far as i understand it, advocacy isn’t the thing…but money is, and i have yet to see any proof of Kos giving or receiving money from campaigns or the Dem party

    but your filing should bring all this to light and get a solid ruling on the matter…

    Excelsior?

  • Leslie Bohn

    Have they filed with the de facto FEC for de facto PAC status?

    How thick in the head does one have to be to keep repeating this incorrect bullshit? The FEC specifically ruled on this question last year. Your EXACT arguments were used by one side. THAT SIDE LOST. UNANIMOUSLY.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer.php?name=gonzo%20marx gonzo marx

    falls under the same heading as a “frivolous lawsuit” , Leslie…

    dumb, but folks have a right to their obstinance

    Excelsior?

  • http://www.lepp.cornell.edu/spr/2000-11/msg0029236.html Neil B.

    So you think Kos deserves regulation due to their political activity? Remember that blogs are not technically on public airwaves. But if you still want to entangle Kos, why not many other political blogs as well? How about Instapundit, Powerline, Redstate (which kicks you off if you criticize them), and most importantly how about this blog (since even though you seem not to explicitly say which party you prefer, it is clear which faction you prefer.)

    tyrannogenius

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Neil, this site is non-partisan, so although JB’s article may seem right-leaning, don’t take that as characteristic of the site, which presents a diversity of opinion.

    And I think that he’s been arguing that the difference between DailyKos and the other sites you mention is that Redstate indicates a specific party allegiance and endorses candidates, essentially making itself free advertising for those candidates.

    Dave

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    I’m guessing that hasn’t worked out too well for you, eh, John?

  • Fred X. Quinby

    “With respect to MUR 5928, the FEC found that Kos Media meets the definition of a media entity and that the activity described in the complaint falls within the media exemption. Thus, activity on the DailyKos website does not constitute a contribution or expenditure that would trigger political committee status. The Commission therefore found no reason to believe Kos Media, DailyKos.com, or Markos Moulitsas Zuniga violated federal campaign finance law.”

    Thank you Mr. Bambenek for helping to further protect grassroots organizations from censorship!

  • http://culturesalad.blogspot.com Ray Ellis

    Thanks for the waste of time and money, John.

  • Some Girl

    So John, looks like it was a quick decision after all, doesn’t it?

  • http://www.parttimepundit.com John Bambenek

    Are you trying to goad me into appealing?

    And disclosure is not censorship.

  • Lumpy

    Ray. It was his time and money. If he thinks it well spent then who are we to argue?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com/ handyguy

    This is Blogcritics. Of course we’re going to argue.

  • InsultComicDog

    So how is that appeal going?