If you’ve read through the Federal Election Commission Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding “public communication” you’ll notice that they appear to be trying to lurch toward regulating political blogs and other internet communication, but they’re doing so by trying to shave the sides of their square regulatory peg to fit it into the circular hole of the internet. While there is a bipartisan effort in the House and the Senate (Bills by Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Senator Harry Reid (D-NV)) to exclude the Internet from the definition of “public communication” in the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002, there is a June 3rd deadline for public comment on the FEC’s proposed rules.
The Chicago Tribune picks up the story of the FEC’s proposed rules, and notes this from said FEC Commissioner Bradley Smith who first alerted bloggers to the impending changes, “The fundamental presumption has changed from the Internet being unregulatable to now it will be regulated.”
Red at Scared Monkeys has a list of questions for the FEC, that as of yet do not have good answers. Mike Krempasky at RedState attempts to answer a few of the questions, though the answers do not bode well for political bloggers. Sean Hackbarth has a rather interesting plan to fight regulation. Greg Prince at UNCoRRELATED says, “Getting blogs entangled in FEC regulations and campaign finance regulation is a profoundly bad idea. That’s all there is to it.”
FEC treads into sticky web of political blogs – [Chicago Tribune]