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FEC Issues Draft Rules For Internet Politics

Money and politics and the Internet. When the talk turns to politics online, how do you regulate who's paying to get out the message? Can you regulate it? I was interviewed for Scott Tong's Federal Elections Commission (FEC) story on Marketplace (heard on more than 330 public radio stations nationwide), you can listen to the story here.

Today the members of The Online Coalition received the FEC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [PDF - Word], which we're still looking through. The mood is cautiously optimistic. Mike Krempasky of Red State has the full content of the proposed rules in web readable form. The FEC is holding open hearings on the proposed changes tomorrow and members of The Online Coalition will be in attendance.

Our efforts have been noticed, and it appears that our concerns have been addressed. In a 40+ page document it's likely that some part of the proposed rules will have unintended consequences that only sharp bloggers will catch. The document is a draft and input was solicited.


FEC Draft Rule Looks Good for (Non Corporate) Bloggers [Democracy Project]
Online politicking receives temporary reprieve [CNET]
Eugene Volokh comments [The Volokh Conspiracy]
Nevermind [PunditGuy]

Update: Mark Tapscott reports on the public hearing.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference FEC Issues Draft Rules For Internet Politics:

» Decision '08 linked with Miscellanea: Mystery Pollster to the Rescue

» Spartac.us linked with FECkless

» AlphaPatriot linked with FEC to Allow First Amendment Stand

» In the Agora linked with FEC Draft Rule

» Villainous Company linked with Proposed FEC Rules

Comments (12)

So, you have to put a discl... (Below threshold)

So, you have to put a disclaimer on any political advertisements? It's all nonsense.

40 pages? Sorry, I think I... (Below threshold)

40 pages? Sorry, I think I prefer one sentence "Congress shall make no law...."

Agree with Tom, and the Con... (Below threshold)

Agree with Tom, and the Constitution, wholeheartedly. Once they have their foot in the door with a seemingly innocuous Rule, later comes the unseen revisions or legal double-talk reinterpreting the language of the first rule.

I still agree with Kevin, the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold Act is the root of all this trouble from which further unusual solutions are now flowing.

The UN and Hillary's plans ... (Below threshold)

The UN and Hillary's plans to regulate the Internet:

UN Plan for Internet Control Tiptoes Forward.

Hillary's Secret War: The Clinton Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists, a book by Richard Poe.

Interview of Richard Poe:

"Poe: In July 1995, Hillary’s Shadow Team produced a secret report which identified the Internet as a special danger to the Clintons’ power. The report proved prophetic when journalists such as Matt Drudge, Christopher Ruddy, Joseph Farah and, of course, David Horowitz, began using the Internet to publish stories that Big Media would never touch.

In February 1998, Hillary announced that the Internet needed an “editing or gatekeeping function.” By the time she spoke those words, Hillary was already hard at work putting her gatekeeping machinery into place.

Her most damaging attacks against the Internet came disguised as private lawsuits, brought by third parties. For instance, Hillary operative Sid Blumenthal sued Matt Drudge for $30 million in 1997, charging defamation. The lawsuit was clearly orchestrated by the White House. David Horowitz came to Drudge’s rescue, providing him with free legal representation, and got slapped with an IRS audit for his troubles. The case dragged on for years, but, soon after the Clintons left office, Blumenthal dropped his suit.

In September 1998, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times sued Jim Robinson’s FreeRepublic.com for copyright violation. Like most message board operators, Robinson allowed users to post full-length newspaper articles on his discussion forum. However, unlike other message board operators, Robinson one day found himself deluged by cease-and-desist orders from Times Mirror, Dow Jones, Reuters and other leading news organizations. According to the Washington Weekly, the attack on FreeRepublic was coordinated by Debevoise & Plimpton – a law firm used by the Clintons and the Democratic National Committee."

BR:I'd like to pur... (Below threshold)


I'd like to purchase a copy of Richard Poe's book ("Hillary's Secret War"), but that webpage on Poe's site says this:

"IN Hillary's Secret War, you will learn about:

"...How Hillary purged Andrew Sullivan from the editorship of The New Republic and how Sullivan returned as the Net's most famous blogger..."

Umm, oh, really?!? Andrew Sullivan is "the Net's most famous blogger"??!?

That statement alone tends to disqualify Poe's perspective, at least discolor it.

Hi, fellow night owl!... (Below threshold)

Hi, fellow night owl!

Take into consideration when that book was written. (Published around May 2004, probably written late 2003.) I'm not very familiar with Andrew Sullivan, but I gather he showed his true colors during the past election. Is he like another David Brock, formerly of the conservative American Spectator newspaper, who then turned up in Soros' MediaMatters?

The ones behind the FEC/int... (Below threshold)

The ones behind the FEC/internet regulation attempts, are all connected – Soros/Clinton allies - advising Kofi Annan on how to "rescue" and "reform" the UN for public relations purposes, Soros allied to Hillary and ACT (America Coming Together), Soros pushing McCain-Feingold Act into place.

The 4 links above describe the George Soros-Morton Halperin-Leslie Gelb connection, Leslie Gelb's presence at secret meeting to advise Kofi Annan in the apartment of Richard Holbrooke (Clinton's ex-UN Ambassador), Morton Halperin's presence at Soros' Southampton meeting on 7/17/03 to organize internet and other groups to attack Bush and future assistance to Hillary through ACT, and Soros' connection to McCain and the resultant McCain-Feingold Act.

<a href="http://www.cnsnews... (Below threshold)

David Brock Group Backpedals on Soros Funding:

"Media Matters for America, the group headed by conservative turned liberal writer David Brock, has changed course on its stated association with billionaire liberal financier George Soros..."

BR: yes, to my view.... (Below threshold)

BR: yes, to my view.

And, you, too, you Night Owl, you. I wake up very early (just past midnight) and then crash after midday. So, everyone else is doing lunch and I'm ready for bed. I love the quiet, dark nights and early mornings, no doubt about that.

Interesting and accurate us... (Below threshold)

Interesting and accurate use and application of the word, "sleasy" in that article, by the way.

But, I note in that article, too, that there's now mention of Media Matters accepting funding from Moveon.org...and I just have to wonder, is that any difference than just taking Soros' money directly?

I'm going to find Poe's book interesting but you are also right to suggest that it is a bit dated, unfortunately.

Very disappointing, <a href... (Below threshold)

Very disappointing, the MPAA...

Funding of films is an interesting layer that isn't being discussed there, however, and should be. Among various recipients of Soros' money...and Soros' money itself, earned from morally questionable economic practices, ongoing...

Dear -S-, here's a <a href... (Below threshold)

Dear -S-, here's a picture for the both of us, hope you can see it there.

Yes, never more true, follow the money trail. Extensively described in those links.

On Poe's book, circa 2003/04, I just meant if the book had a certain viewpoint on Andrew Sullivan then, Andrew Sullivan may have changed or shown left-leaning tendencies since the book was written. What's the deal on Sulllivan? Didn't he attack Bush during the last election? Does he put himself forward as a conservative?






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