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Sarah Palin is the “other” whom Yoda spoke about.

calendar   Sunday - March 26, 2006

Freedom Of Blog

Hooray! Let my peoples go! Bloggers now officially have the right to call John Kerry a goober-butt without having to provide equal time to goober-butt for a re-butt-al. I’m still waiting on my first check from the Republican National Committee though. Hey, Terry! Send payment through PayPal to ....

Proposed FEC Rules Would Exempt Most Political Activity on Internet
Saturday, March 25, 2006

(WASHINGTON POST)—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 and will be free to support and attack federal candidates, much as newspapers are allowed.

For the most part, leading advocates of the blogger community welcomed the proposed rules. “As a whole, these are rules that I think those who have been fighting regulations are going to be cheering,” said Richard L. Hasen, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, who runs the Election Law blog. The rules provide “broad exemptions for most political activity on the Internet, and expand the media exemption to the Internet,” he said.

Hasen and others noted that as technology advances, the regulations will have to be modified. In particular, Hasen said, “as the Internet and TV converge, the FEC or Congress will eventually need to rethink these rules to see if they make sense.” “Generally, it’s in line with what I think bloggers ask for,” said Jerome Armstrong, the founder of the liberal blog MyDD, an adviser to the Howard Dean for president campaign in 2004 and currently an adviser to former Virginia governor Mark R. Warner’s political action committee. “They give bloggers the media exemption.”

Armstrong voiced concern, however, over potential difficulties that could result from a requirement that campaign ads have disclaimers. “The size of a Web ad and the size of blog ad is so small that having to put a disclaimer on it is going to take up all the space,” he said. The House last week put off consideration of a bill that would have similarly left online political activity largely unregulated. Mike Krempasky, who runs the conservative blog RedState, called the proposed rules “a complex legal and regulatory scheme” and called on Congress to pass legislation sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.).

Since 2000, the Internet has grown geometrically as a force shaping virtually every aspect of politics from fundraising to get-out-the-vote drives. The Democratic and Republican national committees are attempting to amass millions of e-mail addresses of supporters and contributors, and candidates at all levels are building lists.In a two-page summary of the 90-page set of rules, Weintraub and Vice Chairman Robert D. Lenhard stressed that the proposals “explicitly exempt from regulation the Internet activities of unpaid individuals or groups of individuals” and “bloggers will not be regulated.” A blogger who gets paid by a campaign will not have to report the money to the FEC, but the campaign will separately have to disclose the expenditures, under the proposed rules.

- More on blog freedom here ...


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Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/26/2006 at 07:00 PM   
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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