Thursday, March 10, 2005

DownsizeDC on Anti-blogging Regs

From today's Downsizer-Dispatch:
Politicians are hoaxing the blogosphere

When FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith blew the whistle publicly on government plans to regulate political activity on the Internet, the politicians were quick to respond.

Senators McCain and Feingold issued the following statement, into which we have inserted our comments:

McCain/Feingold: "A recent federal court decision requires the Federal Election Commission to open a new rulemaking on internet communications."

DownsizeDC: This is the most truthful thing the Senators say. The stress should be on the words "internet communications." If you read Judge Kollar- Kotelly's decision it is clear that she has ordered the FEC to treat all internet communications about political campaigns as subject to the same sorts of regulations as non-internet communications.

McCain/Feingold: "The FEC will be looking at whether and how paid advertising on the internet should be treated, i.e., should it be treated differently than paid advertising on television or radio."

DownsizeDC: This is dishonest. The existing laws and rules already cover things other than just paid advertising. Judge Kollar-Kotelly's ruling says this law also applies to the internet, and the FEC's regulations must reflect this. McCain and Feingold are trying to hoax you.

McCain/Feingold: "This is an important issue -- since [McCain-Feingold] outlawed soft money, we need to make sure that the FEC doesn't try once again to subvert the law by creating loopholes. So far, the FEC has not even proposed new regulations. When it does so, there will be ample opportunity for comment and debate about whatever proposal the FEC makes."

DownsizeDC: McCain and Feingold want you to go to sleep and not complain until after they've taken your rights away. The FEC has been ordered to draft regulations bringing the internet under the campaign finance laws. They must obey that court order. And once they've done so, what are you going to do about it? The courts have already ruled that the internet is subject to the campaign finance laws, so where can you turn to restore freedom on the internet? Congress is the only option. We must ask them to repeal the law to which Judge Kollar-Kotelly says the internet is subject. That law is BCRA, authored by McCain and Feingold.

McCain/Feigold: "There is simply no reason -- none -- to think that the FEC should or intends to regulate blogs or other internet communications by private citizens. Suggestions to the contrary are simply the latest attempt by opponents of reform to whip up baseless fears."

DownsizeDC: There is every reason we should believe the internet will be subjected to all of the campaign finance laws, because that is what Judge Kollar- Kotelly ordered. McCain and Feingold are hoaxing you, and trying to lull the blogosphere to sleep.

The best way to stop this is to rally the forces on the internet to compel Congress to repeal BCRA. You can do that by clicking here.

Take advantage of our easy-to-use Electronic Lobbyist system to send a message to Congress. (Note: if you are using the system for the first time, please choose your own memorable password. Do not let the system do it for you).

Jim Babka

I've already used DownsizeDC's website to email my congressmen about this and may even take the time to call them. I don't know about the rest of you but I am not going to comply with any regulations that limit my freedom of speech. Are you?

2005-03-08 17:09C&T


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