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Reid wants bloggers registered

Senator Harry Reid (D - Vegas Mob) is sneaking a provision into the lobbying reform bill which would force most political bloggers to register with the FEC.

Cross-posted with more detail at Wizbang Politics. The story comes from Of Arms and the Law.


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Comments (45)

No.Wait, make that... (Below threshold)
MunDane:

No.

Wait, make that a "FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE. NO FUCKING WAY!"

Maybe we will wear a nice yeallow "B" on our coats, too?

Sen Reid, go back to your lobbyist supplied hookers and the 12 year old scotch you purloined from Kennedy's cabinet.

Is he just that stupid or d... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Is he just that stupid or does he really want to be portrayed as someone that wants to infringe on free speech like McCain & Feingold?

Herr Reid, where should blo... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Herr Reid, where should bloggers wear their yellow patches of bloggerdom? On the sleeve? Lapel? How about a tattoo with a number? A chip implant perhaps?

You goosetepping waste of oxygen.

And now for another round o... (Below threshold)
mantis:

And now for another round of "Stupid or Dishonest?" the exciting trivia quiz for people of all ages!

First, you slyly omit the fact that the criminal penalties amendment was introduced by Republican David Vitter. Good show, way to stick it to Reid!

Stupid or dishonest?

Second, you apparently didn't bother to read the legislation in question, or choose to deliberately distort it. Let's look at the text, which you choose not to link to (But I will):

The term `paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying' means any paid attempt in support of lobbying contacts on behalf of a client to influence the general public or segments thereof to contact one or more covered legislative or executive branch officials (or Congress as a whole) to urge such officials (or Congress) to take specific action with respect to a matter described in section 3(8)(A), except that such term does not include any communications by an entity directed to its members, employees, officers, or shareholders.,

Paid efforts on behalf of a client. Wow, that doesn't seem to include many bloggers, now does it? If you are paid by a client to encourage the public to contact government officials, you are a lobbyist. Oh, wait, there's more:

GRASSROOTS LOBBYING FIRM- The term `grassroots lobbying firm' means a person or entity that--

(A) is retained by 1 or more clients to engage in paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying on behalf of such clients; and

(B) receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate of $25,000 or more for such efforts in any quarterly period.'.

A firm, retained by a client(s), receiving $25k or more per quarter specifically for lobbying efforts on behalf of said client(s). How many bloggers do you know qualify?

Stupid or dishonest?

You decide.

Ve haf vays uf making you n... (Below threshold)
Heil Harry:

Ve haf vays uf making you not talk.

This doesn't surprise me at... (Below threshold)
Buckeye:

This doesn't surprise me at all. Democrats believe free speech is only for Democrats.

This is OK. But listening i... (Below threshold)
plainlsow:

This is OK. But listening in on Al Qaeda erodes our freedom?

Dems only approve of free s... (Below threshold)
Gianni:

Dems only approve of free speech that they agree with. Dissent is discouraged by the left.

ah mantis...this is not a f... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

ah mantis...this is not a forum for facts..it is for trashing everyone and everything outside of the 30% who still believe our President is right on Iraq and Tom Delay is still the "Hammer" in the House and global warming is a conspiracy by every one of the overwhelming majority of world scientists who state it as scientific fact...nice try though..

Eisenhower in 08 ...I like Ike

Okay, you wizzers here just... (Below threshold)
Mercury:

Okay, you wizzers here just proved mantis's point. Are you really that dumb, or just deluded and dishonest?

Read the actual text he linked to, if you dare accept something that falls outside the wingnut frame of 'dems are the enemy'. Read the actual language of the bill, introduced by a , hmmm, oh yea, a REPUBLICAN.

But truth really doesnt matter to the wizzers, only their warped, frustrated take on it.

Is C an answer? Both?... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Is C an answer? Both?

Well mantis, I have yet to... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Well mantis, I have yet to determine whether you are stupid or dishonest but I'm sure it's one of the two.

First you correctly point out that a Republican proposed an amendment to the bill which would require criminal penalites, but you fail to mention that said republican opposes the anti-blogging provisions that Reid is adding to the bill (which were what this post was about). Stupid or dishonest?

Next you quote parts of the legislation that have nothing to do with the provision that Reid is putting into the legislation. Is that stupid or dishonest?

The whole point of this post was the anti-blogging provisions that Reid added to the bill and it had nothing to do with the misleading points you tried to make in your post.

Seeing as you come from the fabricated reality based community, I'd assume you're just stupid, or informationally retarded like most lefties. I will however not rule out the possibility that you could just be dishonest as that's quite common among you lefties too. It's surely one or the other.

Mantis, nicely done. This ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Mantis, nicely done. This BS has been passed from one conservative blog to the next. It is so nice to see the true face of "independent thinking" on the right. Don't bother to check the facts. The talking points will do just fine.

Mercury,The bill w... (Below threshold)
P. Bunan:

Mercury,

The bill was introduced last year by Russ Feingold, a democrat. The bill was re-introduced this year by Reid a democrat. The Republican mantis was talking about in his disingenuous post offered an ammendment to the bill providing for criminal penalties.

Are you stupid or dishonest?

And Barney, I'm glad you co... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

And Barney, I'm glad you consider a disingenous post that attempted to mislead the informationally retarded, like yourself, "nicely done".

It really says a great deal about your credibility.

I suppose you thought Fahrenheit 911 was "nicely done" too, what with it being nothing but lies and deception like mantis' post.

nogo postal,We hav... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

nogo postal,

We have a different definition of "fact" than you lefties do. We consider a fact to be something that has actual existence or the quality of being actual.

You lefties, as members of the fabricated reality based community, consider fact to be something you really want to believe to be true.

We consider a fact to be... (Below threshold)
Mercury:

We consider a fact to be something that has actual existence or the quality of being actual.

Like Saddam has WMDS? We'll be greeted as liberators? The oil will pay for the war? we only need 100000 troops for one year? Those kinds of facts?

Bunyan, read this:... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Bunyan, read this:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN02349:@@@D&summ2=2&

"Defines "grassroots lobbying firm" as a person or entity that: (1) is retained by one or more clients to engage in paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying on behalf of such clients; (2) directs such paid efforts at 500 or more members of the general public; and (3) receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate of $25,000 or more for such efforts in any quarterly period."

Same thing Mantis posted, so where is your evidence that Reid wants to stop free speech in the blogosphire?

Or is it more like "we don'... (Below threshold)
John:

Or is it more like "we don't know who leaked Valerie Plame's name to the media", or Hariot Meyers is the best candidate for the Supreme Court, or the Judiciary is unfit to rule on domestic security issues, or we're going to restore honor to the White House? Is it more like those kind of facts?

"Defines "grassroots lob... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

"Defines "grassroots lobbying firm" as a person or entity that: (1) is retained by one or more clients to engage in paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying on behalf of such clients; (2) directs such paid efforts at 500 or more members of the general public; and (3) receives income of, or spends or agrees to spend, an aggregate of $25,000 or more for such efforts in any quarterly period."

That could EASILY be used to force "registration" of reporters for newspapers or television.

Do you want the government making the decision as to who is and who is not a reporter?

I certainly do not.
-=Mike
...It's amazing the intellectual gymnastics libs will undertake to defend the indefensible...

And it's sad that a pretty ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

And it's sad that a pretty obvious "poison pill" provision actually managed to pass.

The DNC --- We'll SHOW Bush how to REALLY attack Constitutional rights!
-=Mike

Cmon, Barney, they don't ne... (Below threshold)
Mercury:

Cmon, Barney, they don't need evidence, they just need one moron like instputz to do one dishonest post, indeed, then the rest of the mouth foamers all jump and hump it as fast as they can before they think anyone actually pays attention to the deflections and distortions contained therein.

Kind of like in the 2004 race, when the mantra for one week was 'kerry and edwards are the 1st and 4th most liberal members of the senate'. Never mind it wasn't true, never mind that the actual publication that the wingnuts were using as a reference said it wasn't true, they figure their audience will believe anything if they tell a lie loud enough. And the limbots and hannibots usually don't question their authority figures ever.

first Paul...I hope you are... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

first Paul...I hope you are from Minnesota...or please don't defame the name...

"Seeing as you come from the fabricated reality based community" ah I am encouraged that you use the word reality...so you Understand our President is removed from it...please...using link or edit/copy anything that factually refutes mantis....if you cannot,; perhaps...just perhaps it is you living in a "fabricated reality"...hell i can spout cliches ...
..what Jay and Lori do here is make comments and opinions that are meant to provoke...but at least they offer support for them and respond in an intelligent manner...you would do well to learn from them......they allow voices of dissent..after all if we did not post here it would ruin the fun...grow up ...Paul...by the way if you want i will post links to real Paul B. folktales...they are way cool...

Just so I got this straight... (Below threshold)
MunDane:

Just so I got this straight:

mantis and jp trust the gov't to show restraint in this registration dohickey, but think that the Domestic Wiretap Program is being done by jackbooted thugs?

yeah, that makes sense.

(FWIW, I don't ever trust the Gov't to do anything other than screw things up. I am rarely disappointed.)

You should never trust the ... (Below threshold)
Gringo:

You should never trust the government to do anything that isn't about breaking something or ruining something.

This is why gov't is well suited for war, which is essentually, breaking and ruining, but ill suited for deciding which people on the internet need to register before they may continue doing what they're doing right now.

Will 2007 upcoming D legislation make a lot of new criminals, do you think? You know, the kind of people who, if they don't spend some time and money to do a government task, suddenly become criminals even though they haven't changed their behavior one bit?

I don't see a problem as st... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

I don't see a problem as stated in Sec. 220
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d109:SN02349:@@@D&summ2=2&
. However, if Reid has added onto that or change it, I would like to see it. Problem with many of these bills is that get twisted in the final hours. I would like to see a requirement that any bill has to publish in full after the last change is done for a week before being voted on. If so much as a comma is change then time starts again.Certain Emergency bills can be exempt.

Babe the Blue Ox,Y... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Babe the Blue Ox,

You claim, quite incorrectly and one would presume, dishonestly since you point to no correction whatsoever (because none exists?), that I did not quote the provisions in question. I quoted from section 220 of the bill, which was referred to in the Of Arms and the Law post and the GrassrootsFreedom.com news release they are drawing from as the offending section of the legislation. This section of the bill defines who is a grassroots lobbyist, which is of course the point of contention. Not only does Of Arms and the Law not detail how this could possibly apply to bloggers, their sole criticism is stated as:

But a blogger who receives contributions might be classed as a "paid" grassroots type.

They don't say how, and one must deliberately misread the text of the legislation even to come to the conclusion that a blogger receiving contributions might be classified as such. The text clearly defines what a grassroots lobbyist is and I don't know of many, if any, bloggers who would qualify.

All of that is repetition though. What I find interesting is the fact that even though I quote the section of the legislation that is cited by the bloggers who called attention to this, you still think (or are bullshitting) that there is some other section which is the real problem and we're all just missing it (or rather, deliberately ignoring it and quoting irrelevant portions, as you have accused me of doing). So please, pony up and show us the portion of the legislation that is really in question, if not the one I cited.

Until I see that, I'll assume you are both dishonest and stupid, and quite obviously so. But hey, we all knew that already, didn't we?

BTW I have not come out in support of this legislation by any means. I would like to read the rest of it first. I just wanted to point out how blatantly it is being distorted, including but not limited to blaming one Democratic senator for the amendment introduced by another, Republican, senator.

mantis and jp trust the ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

mantis and jp trust the gov't to show restraint in this registration dohickey,

I never said that. I'm just pointing out the importance of actually reading and understanding legislation you are bitching about. I know that's a bit much for some people to handle as they wet themselves with excitement at the chance to attack a perceived enemy like Reid, however erroneously, and can't be bothered to actually educate themselves. "Just link and condemn" seems to be the M.O. of many around here.

The problem with quoting pa... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

The problem with quoting part of an amendment to a bill is that subsequent additions to said amendment and amendments that are added later supersede their predecessors.

For instance, a later addition changes the definition to: in lieu of using the definition of paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying in section 3(18), consider as paid efforts to stimulate grassroots lobbying only those activities that are grassroots expenditures as defined in section 4911(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.'

While Vitter may have introduced the amendment (7), he now co-sponsors amendment 20 to undo the damage done by other senators' changes.

mantis, I have to ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

mantis,

I have to admit that I haven't really figured out what the final legislation is supposed to look like with all the amendments in place. It's quite a hodge-podge. Of course it will always be that way until people wise up and stop electing lawyers, if that would ever happen.

Anyway, the point that a lot of what I'm reading is trying to make is that anyone who attempts to reach 500 or more people is subject to it and your post seemed to omit that little tidbit.

I guess everyone on the right could be wrong or you could be wrong. In my opinion, your track record isn't very great. But that's just my opinion.

ah mantis...this is not... (Below threshold)
marc:

ah mantis...this is not a forum for facts..
:: by nogo postal on January 18, 2007 3:23 PM ::

Assuming that's true, it may be an indication why you have beeen, and continue to be welcome here.

To the dismay of more than a few.

nogo,Minnesota is ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

nogo,

Minnesota is not the only state with claims on Paul Bunyan, sorry.

As far as links I used the links that were in the original post. Also there's this thing called google. You should try it sometime.

But you know something, I reread mantis' orginal post, and it wasn't as factually incorrect as I'd originally thought, just misleading and Micheal Mooreish. And it was very arrogant and swarmy and that p'd me off.

P. just wondering if your ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

P. just wondering if your State has a big ass statue of Paul B? as for your comments on mantis post...what parts of the direct quote from the bill did you find misleading? hey...I understand being firm in my beliefs and being proven wrong...but you know we learn so much more from our errors than our successes ...whenever we post we post with confidence...sometimes it has merit..sometimes it does not...take care..and drive with safety if you live in an area with ice on the roads...

I never said that. I'm j... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

I never said that. I'm just pointing out the importance of actually reading and understanding legislation you are bitching about

Like about how the "domestic spying" program dealt with terrorists or suspected terrorists only?

Or about how SWIFT was completely legal?

Man, where was this nuance, oh, 3 months ago?
-=Mike

Like about how the "dome... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Like about how the "domestic spying" program dealt with terrorists or suspected terrorists only?

First of all, such wiretapping is legal under FISA (you know, legislation), which I have commented on extensively here. The Bush administration decided to ignore FISA and do whatever eavesdropping they wanted with no oversight. Who they were spying on is actually unknown, despite their claims. Maybe you are willing to trust the government to do whatever they want with no oversight. I'm more skeptical.

Or about how SWIFT was completely legal?

You won't find me saying otherwise. Go looking if you like.

Man, where was this nuance, oh, 3 months ago?

It's not nuance. It's called being informed, something I've always advocated.

Paid efforts on be... (Below threshold)
Carl:
Paid efforts on behalf of a client.

In terms of blogs that's pretty much Daily Kos, Huffington Post and Democrat Underground. So effectively, Reid's proposal will adversely affect blogs he doesn't want affected.

mantis: You ran the table! ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

mantis: You ran the table! Bravo!

Joesph Stalin - Harry Reid ... (Below threshold)
Murphy:

Joesph Stalin - Harry Reid - Separated at birth? - Cloning?

So the ACLU has come out ag... (Below threshold)
PorkSaladSandwich:

So the ACLU has come out against this also (http://wizbangblog.com/2007/01/18/senator-jim-demint-on-lobbying-reform.php)

Mantis, BryanD, and NoGo Postal: still stand by your opinions?

My opinion that this bill a... (Below threshold)
mantis:

My opinion that this bill as it was written would affect almost no bloggers, if any? I still stand by that.

I've had a chance to read the rest of the bill and some other commentary on it. It seems that section 220 is in there not to go after bloggers, but to go after lobbying groups that masquerade as grassroots organizations, even though they are well funded by established political groups. These are so-called astroturf groups, like Abramoff created to lobby for Indian gaming, which is the primary reason this section existed, as I understand it.

However, it seems that the bill is too restrictive on grassroots lobbying and would negatively affect a lot of small, local groups. I don't like that and I'm glad they struck that section from the bill as it was written, as well as Vitter's stupid criminal penalties amendment and delaying a vote on the line-item veto thing.

It does leave a pretty big gap, however, for larger groups to setup smaller, astroturf shops in order to avoid reporting. I'm still on the fence about a lot of this finance reform. I would like something effective to be done about the influence that lobbyists have in Washington, but it seems that any legislation that is passed just creates more loopholes and nothing really changes. And so it goes.

Check out this report on astroturf lobbying groups (pdf)

Mantis, Section 2... (Below threshold)
PorkSaladSandwich:

Mantis,

Section 220 may not be written to go after bloggers but the Government always seems to find new uses for laws once enacted.

I read the PDF -

Two questions for you:

1) How does one hijack a political debate by adding speech? It seems that it much easier to hijack debate by silencing people (even if they are incorporated).

2) Do you see any common thread in all the examples given? Only republican organizations 'Astroturf'?

Maybe if they listed groups from both sides of the political spectrum they might have some credibility.

Public Citizen is just another lobby group. I bet it's set up no different financially from any of the groups it rails against and you could barely tell their headquarters from any generic corporate HQ.

Don't shut them up, but don't let them shut up their competition.

Mantis,Before you ... (Below threshold)
PorkSaladSandwich:

Mantis,

Before you give too much credit to Public Citizen's quest for transparency in lobbying, try this experiment:

Search for the Halliburton's Financial Statement.

Search for the Red Cross's Financial Statement.

Search for Public Citizen's Financial Statement.

Maybe they should take public out of their name.

Section 220 may not be w... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Section 220 may not be written to go after bloggers but the Government always seems to find new uses for laws once enacted.

I still don't see how bloggers could be subject to the restrictions in that section, unless they are paid by a client to lobby for specific causes/legislature, etc.

How does one hijack a political debate by adding speech?

They don't. You seem to be implying that I said so. I didn't.

It seems that it much easier to hijack debate by silencing people (even if they are incorporated).

I don't believe in the gov't silencing anyone. Regulation of fundraising is what I'm more interested in. And I don't buy the premise that "money is speech".

Do you see any common thread in all the examples given? Only republican organizations 'Astroturf'?

There are a lot of Republican groups on there, but not all. Americans for Technology Leadership and Citizens for Better Medicare are business lobby groups that don't seem to have alliance to either party. Do you consider Microsoft and the Pharmaceutical industry to be "grassroots"? In any case I don't doubt there are some grassroots groups on the left that do the same thing, and the legislation would have affected them the same.

Public Citizen is just another lobby group.

And are regulated just like other lobby groups, except the astroturf ones.

Don't shut them up, but don't let them shut up their competition.

Don't want to shut up either.

Before you give too much... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Before you give too much credit to Public Citizen's quest for transparency in lobbying, try this experiment:

I don't understand the point. First of all, Halliburton is a publicly traded corporation and the Red Cross is a non-profit group. Apples and oranges.

Secondly, I did google those, and this was the third hit. They are a 501(c)(4), and must report in exactly the same way as the NRA, AARP, Christian Coalition, and others. You can access those reports and if you really want me to track them down I will later.

In any case what are you trying to say? It isn't clear.

Leave it to BIG BROTHER har... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Leave it to BIG BROTHER harry reid to monitor everyone IMPEACH HARRY REID




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