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McCain and Feingold say, "Trust us"

Senators John McCain & Russ Feingold make an appearance to try to calm fears that their "reform" will silence blogs. RedState fisks it.

FEC commissioner Ellen Weintraub tells bloggers to "chill out," but fails to address the slippery slope of in-kind contributions. Jerome Armstrong points out that she's not coming clean. Weintraub says this:

It would be ironic indeed if in the name of campaign finance reform, we were to try to squelch inexpensive on-line grassroots political rabble-rousing.
Indeed it's ironic, but that's what is at stake when the reform makes the leap from money to in-kind contributions.

The issue isn't so much about bloggers freedom to speak (or write), but rather whether that speech is subject to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA). Nothing McCain, Feingold, or Weintraub said today indicates that bloggers and other online journalists will be getting a media exemption. Short of that exemption, everything else is subject to the newly undefined BCRA rules for the internet. It's the rewriting of those rules - which have now been voided by the court - that are up for debate.

McCain, Feingold, Weintraub, et.all say, "Trust us."

The oft derided phrase, "We're from the government; we're here to help" comes to mind...

Update: Apparently Senator McCain has found a loophole to his own reform law.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A senator promotes a government policy sought by a corporation while a tax-exempt group closely tied to him solicits and gets $200,000 from the same company.

Campaign finance watchdogs say that creates the appearance of a conflict of interest.

To their surprise, the senator is Arizona Republican John McCain, whom they usually praise for advocating campaign finance restrictions.

Courtesy Chris Muir's Day by Day


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference McCain and Feingold say, "Trust us":

» Am I A Pundit Now? linked with Whew! I Feel Better Now.

» Right Wing Nut House linked with REASSURING WORDS FROM THE FEC?

» Vote for Judges linked with It's speech, dammit!

» Illuminaria's Voice linked with More Useless Condescending Claptrap

Comments (9)

"the slippery slop"? I thin... (Below threshold)

"the slippery slop"? I think that's the most spot-on typo you've made all day.

[Ed - Good though it may be, it's now fixed]

It might be fun if they did... (Below threshold)

It might be fun if they did do something, just to see what we could do back. It would also kill any hopes McCain might have to run in 2008.

The deed has already been d... (Below threshold)

The deed has already been done: the Soros-backed McCain-Feingold Act. We didn't stop it, Pres. Bush didn't veto it, and the Court didn't void it. It's going to take a mighty internet tsunami to overturn it.

I think this reform ... (Below threshold)

I think this reform hasn't done anything productive for the American political system. It's still a huge money game to get elected for any office, and this year set a record. If you can't get the thousands of private donors at the maximum you have to come up with some other money, which is why most politicians have other sources of wealth behind them. John Kerry had to put a mortgage on his house just to stay in the primary race, is that what was intended by this bill? Now only the rich and very highly connected can get into office, it's no longer for the common man (not that it really ever was).

Even if we discount the rag... (Below threshold)

Even if we discount the rage (mine) for a moment. The BCRA was and is nothing but a consolidation of power for those who are in control of the MSM. If they can (or some future comrads in arms) take out the mightiest of the blog voices with "proof" of campaign tie-ins, and the rest of us small fry with treat of legal action (yeah I have a team of lawyers right here in my back pocket, ready to take on any alphabet agency or legislator....right next to my winning lotto ticket). Well, it becomes a matter of "if" and not "when", we discard that pesky constitution all together.

While Eugene Volokh believe... (Below threshold)

While Eugene Volokh believes that blogs already have an exemptiom (See Michelle Malkin) we are talking about a government agency here who's business is regulation.

Doesn't hurt to keep you eyes open and your powder dry.

I thought it was a bad idea... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

I thought it was a bad idea 4 years ago. The 04 elections proved it to be a bad law. It should be repealed. McCain was disingenuous at the least.

Instead of defending the tr... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

Instead of defending the tripe he wrote, McCain should get out there and get the idiotic piece of legislation repealed.

That has to be one of the dumbest laws anyone ever signed up for, and Bush was stupid to sign it (although I still think he expected the Supremes to swat it down-but that was dumb gamble for him to take).

I would much rather see anyone be able to give anyone as much money as they want to give, just all records of giving have to be made totally public and easily accessible with a certain amount of time.

If Soros wants to give a DNC candidate his fortune, fine, just let me know that Soros has bought him.

Thanks, Kevin, for the cart... (Below threshold)

Thanks, Kevin, for the cartoon update. My goodness, I had quite forgotten that McCain was one of the Keating Five Scandal in 1988-89! The linked article seems to have been written many years ago, circa 1994, long before the McCain-Feingold Act. Ironically, it briefly describes McCain's unethical conduct leading up to the Savings & Loan crisis which cost taxpayers billions, and gives the history of prior failed campaign finance restriction attempts in Congress.

"     In 1989, the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association in California collapsed.... Charles Keating, the Chairman of Lincoln's parent company, was implicated... for being personally responsible for this, the nation's largest thrift failure. 

    When the House Banking Committee heard testimony.... Edwin J. Gray, the former head of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board... said he had been approached by a number of influential senators to discontinue investigations of the Lincoln S&L. Later, it was revealed that these senators had received substantial campaign contributions--both directly and indirectly--from Keating, totaling over 1.3 million dollars.

     A number of investigations began as to whether these senators had acted improperly and whether Keating had been able to buy influence through his campaign contributions. These included investigations by the State of California, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Senate Ethics Committee. While the California and the Justice Department investigations concentrated on Keating's action, the Senate Ethics Committee investigation concentrated on the actions of the five senators implicated: Alan Cranston (D, CA), Dennis DeConcini (D, AZ), John Glenn (D, OH), John McCain (R, AZ), and Donald Riegle (D, MI). These men were dubbed the Keating Five.

     Although the special counsel to the Ethics Committee advised the Senate that Senators Glenn and McCain were not substantially involved, months of testimony revealed that all five senators had acted improperly in varying degrees."






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