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Bloggers Fight Government Regulation, Testify Before The FEC

As you may be aware a group of bloggers from across the political spectrum (The Online Coalition) has been fighting to protect current and future bloggers from FEC campaign finance regulation which would, in our opinion, would expose bloggers onerous legal limits on their freedom and personal activity on the Internet.

Selected excerpts of those testifying before the FEC in regards to their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are shown below (and will be updated as we get more):

Mike Krempasky (RedState)

There is no doubt that the Commission recognizes the difficulty in extending the media exemption to these citizen journalists. It is imperative that it does so. What goal would be served by protecting Rush Limbaugh's multimillion dollar talk radio program - but not a self-published blogger with a fraction of the audience? How is the public benefited by allowing CNN to evade regulation while spending corporate dollars to put campaign employees on the airwaves as pundits, while forcing bloggers to scour the Record and read Commission advisory opinions?

...In the explanation and justification for this rule, the Commission identifies Slate.com, the Drudge Report, and Salon.com as entities presumably deserving of the exemption. But if the Commission grants credentials to these three - how can the Commission then deny the same privilege to AndrewSullivan.com, Joshua Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo.com, or Kevin Aylward's Wizbangblog.com? They all provide news coverage and opinion. They all generate revenue through advertising. Substantively, they are no different.

Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (DailyKos):
Those believing they could corrupt the political process through the Internet had every incentive to do so in 2004, and unlimited means at their disposal. But nothing of the sort happened. The free market of ideas policed itself. It worked. So I ask you to do the minimum necessary to comply with the court order, and go no further.
Jerome Armstrong (MyDD) and Patrick Hynes (Ankle Bitting Pundits) were on C-SPAN's Washington Journal yesterday discussing this issue. You can watch the video here.

All of those testifying before the FEC are listed below. As we get links to their testimony (or transcripts) we'll update with links. Thanks to DailyKos member DC PoliSci for the lineup.

Panel 1:
Michael Krempasky, RedState.org
John B. Morris, Jr., Center for Democracy and Technology
Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, DailyKos.com
Lawrence M. Noble, The Center for Responsive Politics

Panel 2:
Carol Darr, Institute for Politics, Democracy & the Internet
Marc E. Elias, John Kerry for President, Inc., and Kerry-Edwards 2004, Inc.
Don Simon, Democracy 21
Matt Stoller, BOPnews.com

Panel 3:
Peter Bearse, Ph.D., economist and author of We the People: A Conservative Populism
James Bopp, Jr., James Madison Center for Free Speech
John Connolly, Print Debate Center Inc.

Panel 4:
Robert F. Bauer, Perkins Coie
Reid Alan Cox, Center for Individual Freedom
Laurence E. Gold, AFL-CIO

Panel 5:
Jim Boulet, Jr., English First
Mark Jakulski, Student, Widener University School of Law
Kristinn Taylor, Free Republic, LLC

Panel 6:
Michael Bassik, The Online Coalition
Duncan Black, Eschaton (atrios.blogspot.com)
Trevor Potter, The Campaign Legal Center
Karl J. Sandstrom, OMB Watch


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Comments (4)

So, Dean buying up Markos a... (Below threshold)

So, Dean buying up Markos and Soros financing Odub... doesn't count as trying to corrupt politics on the internet. Interesting.
But, as Markos said, "Screw 'em"

Thank you, Kevin, and to al... (Below threshold)
BR:

Thank you, Kevin, and to all the others standing up for freedom of speech - not only for current and future pajamafolk, but everyone in America.

Let's see... Ana Marie Cox... (Below threshold)

Let's see... Ana Marie Cox... Ana Marie Cox... Nope, she's not on the list to testify. We're safe.

Yeah, but Ana Marie Cox was... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Yeah, but Ana Marie Cox was featured on news media televised about the event, bespeaking and bemoaning the idea of bloggers "paid" by others...and all the while, I'm thinking to myself, why didn't anyone on those broadcasts ask Cox how much and how long she's been receiving a salary "to blog"?

The answer is throughout her presence/current permutaiton on the internet. Hired and salaried and blog site created and maintained by alternate media posing as blogger.

I think there's a happy medium here but the fact that the charade is continuing about "blogging" by a lot of people who are not lone, unfunded bloggers is a question to my view.

As is, also, the fact that the media seems intent on using non-bloggers to pose as bloggers, thus and thereby furthering the discreditation of what blogging is for most indidividuals.

I think there's more than enough bad behavior in blogging to go around -- certainly in media -- but the point of all this ought to be to preserve individual freedoms and expose those who defile them. I think bloggers/websites in general should be meeting some modicum of standards, however, and among those, disclosures as to who writes and maintains them with published accessibility.

Otherwise, it's a bit of a costume game that is continuing and the actual individual bloggers are being overlooked in pursuit of these "higher profile" "bloggers" who mostly are and have accepted financing without voluntary disclosure. Cox is a prime example of a person who has misled and whose website has misrepresented what blogging is all about, as is KOS, in my experience.




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