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Online Freedom Of Speech Action Alert

Politicians have seen the light when it comes to blogs; they're engaging as never before. It can't be a one way street. If they come to us for support and money, they need to support our interests as well.

Last night many, many politicians failed that test. One of those who failed us was my own Congressman. Here's the letter I sent.

The Honorable Frank R. Wolf
United States House of Representatives
241 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-4610

Dear Rep. Wolf,

As a constituent of yours I'm disappointed in your abandonment of free speech and freedom from onerous FEC regulations for blogger/journalists such as myself.

Last night the House failed to pass The Online Freedom Of Speech Act (HR 1606), even though there was strong bipartisan support for the bill. We expect that the bill will come up again under different circumstances that will not require a 2/3rd's majority to pass.

Last week I, and other local bloggers, were invited by the House Republican Conference to blog live from the Capitol. We interviewed several members on a range of topics. It's clear that the Republican leadership now gets the message that blogs are politically important. Even Speaker Hastert started a blog.

As a high profile blogger, I've also been a leader in fighting for fair treatment from the FEC in their BCRA rulemaking process (see The Online Coalition and this post). The Online Freedom Of Speech Act is an important issue to us - so important that Republican Congressman are blogging about it.

My question to you Congressman Wolf is why were you one of only 38 Republicans to vote no on HR 1606?

I'll let everyone know what response comes back. If you're Congressman (Republican or Democrat) voted against the bill, perhaps you should ping them as to why? Redstate is tracking answers from Republicans. Adam B at DailyKos is tracking answers from Democrats.

Note: I paraphrased Adam B's, "if Democrats want to come to us for support, they need to support us as well" line above since it was so good. It applies to both parties, just more so to Democrats in this case...

Update: The National Journal's Beltway Blogroll is publishing portions floor debate.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Online Freedom Of Speech Action Alert:

» houblog.com linked with I said it before….

» Unite Later linked with Congress fails to protect free speech

» Christian Coalition Blog linked with News & Opinion

» Conservative Outpost linked with Daily Summary

» A Face Made 4 Radio, A Voice Made 4 the Internet linked with But Daddy, I Thought Democrats Support Free Speech

Comments (7)

Personally I think we would... (Below threshold)

Personally I think we would have beenj better of if they had eviscerated the First Amendment to begin with.

The failure of this legislation is ultimately as meaningless as any regulation the FEC attempts to impose. I for one will continue to advocate for whatever cause and candidate I choose. Nothing the FEC says or does will change that.

We already have an "Online Freedom of Speech Act." We call it the First Amendment.

Correctiuon to above<... (Below threshold)

Correctiuon to above

Personally I think we would have beenjbetter of if they hadn't eviscerated the First Amendment to begin with.

Sorry I really can't type t... (Below threshold)

Sorry I really can't type today!

I don't think the bill is d... (Below threshold)

I don't think the bill is dead, yet. The vote was "On Motion to Suspend the Rules and Pass", not to out and out kill the bill.
link to the roll call:

Powerline is my source for that.

Thanks for sending this to ... (Below threshold)

Thanks for sending this to Mr. Wolf. My new Member of Congress Rep. Tom Davis (for once) did the right thing and voted for the Act. However, I used to live in Mr. Wolf's district and was shocked to see him fall on the wrong side.

Please let us know what his office says--and I bet it will be some weasel-worded thing cut-and-pasted from Shay's office. Wolf doesn't understand blogs and the Net--he's been in Congress too long.

All I can say is that my Co... (Below threshold)

All I can say is that my Congressmen and Senators ALWAYS vote correctly, on just about EVERYTHING. It's amazing. They almost never appear on these sorts of lists of idiots.

So it's almost irritating. I can't pressure mine to do the right things. They already are doing so.

Any possibility that the na... (Below threshold)

Any possibility that the nay votes weren't against the idea but rather against this particular application and hoping (planning) for a better one?

I can't tell and I don't know *how* to tell if this is so.

Theoretically I'm against passing laws for the sake of being seen to pass laws even when they are poorly written, to, you know, keep from appearing to oppose something or other.

Were the people who voted Nay in opposition to the *idea* or just this particular bill?

(My congress lady voted nay... she's usually very good, or at least it seems she is, so I don't want to send her a nasty-gram assuming things that aren't true... or something.)






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