The Federal Election Commission last night released proposed new rules that leave almost all Internet political activity unregulated except for the purchase of campaign ads on Web sites.
"My key goal in this rule-making has been to make sure that the commission establish clear rules to exempt individuals who engage in online politics from campaign finance laws," said Chairman Michael E. Toner, a Republican.
"We tried to craft a regulation that would allow the maximum amount of freedom for people as possible," said Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub, a Democrat.
Most bloggers, individual Web users, and such Web sites as Drudge Report and Salon.com are exempted from regulation....
the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), still remains in force, and that this exemption exists at the pleasure of the FEC. We still need a solid commitment from Congress that will restrict the actions of later FECs in regulating free speech on the Internet. We need to support House bill 1606, which will make the blog exemption an act of Congress that the FEC cannot reverse.
Beyond that, we need to restore sanity to the electoral-campaign process by repealing the BCRA (aka the McCain-Feingold Act), forcing all political contributions to be handled alike and in the open, and quit attempting to stifle speech in a vain attempt to purify politics.
1606 will be tough, because it's not a partisan issue: it's a Party of Government issue. NO Congresscritter likes 'free speech' when they could be a target of unhappy bloggers.
Repealing McC/Feinie: even tougher. Another of GWB's utter failures, albeit he was pushed, hard, to sign this piece of crap.
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Why not let the free market decide which bloggers can handle the legal heat? Why do you need guvmint protection?
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