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campaign "reform"

2005-03-04 13:45:56.918861+00 by Dan Lyke 3 comments

This is why campaign finance "reform" laws are a bad idea: Your link to a candidate's web site may be considered a contribution by the FEC. Hopefully we'll see some good First Amendment lawsuits on this one.

[ related topics: Politics Current Events Civil Liberties ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-03-04 14:57:53.62996+00 by: Larry Burton

Before we get completely bent out of shape on this one, it appears that it would take more than just linking to the site or stating your own opinion to get you into trouble over this. At the very end of the second page of the article we have this:

In fact, the regulations are very specific that reproducing a campaign's material is a reproduction for purpose of triggering the law. That'll count as an expenditure that counts against campaign finance law.

So you have to be duplicating official campaign material to trigger the law. Declan can get a little over hysterical at times on this type of stuff. Still, if I can't forward interesting e-mails to my friends and associates that is a strike against my freedom of speech. Of course my friends and associates may see it as a strike against spam.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-03-05 04:24:15.803786+00 by: whump

PNH has some comments:

http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006142.html http://nielsenhayden.com/electrolite/archives/006144.html

It appears to be a anti-campaign finance reform red herring floated by the same folks who brought us the "Al Gore Invented the Interweb" smear.

#Comment Red Herring? made: 2005-03-16 16:37:19.519004+00 by: crasch [edit history]

Here's what Russ Feingold has to say about it:

"The FEC must tread carefully in the area of political communications on the Internet. Political news and commentary on the Internet are important, even vital, to our democracy, and becoming more so. For starters, the FEC should provide adequate protection for legitimate online journalists. Online journalists should be treated the same as other legitimate broadcast media, newspapers, etc. and, at this point, I don't see any reason why the FEC shouldn't include legitimate online journalists and bloggers in the "media exemption" rule."

Guess who decides who is a "legitimate online journalist"? And of course, Feingold's support for the right of "legitimate" journalists to express themselves is only true "at this point." If, at some point in the future, some illegitimate journalist posts something he doesn't like, he may well change his mind.

Forgive me if I'm not re-assured.