Online Freedom of Speech Act up for Vote


Tomorrow the House votes on HR 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act. This bill is vital to the blogosphere and is supported by both the left and right. The NY Times is placing a lot of pressure to get this bill defeated.

Krempasky at Red State has this to say:

Of all the work you’ve done on this issue – no day is more important that today. Start with this list. Call the Republicans that wobbled last time 1606 was on the floor. And don’t stop there.

Here are the relevant points:

  • HR 1606 is a simple bill that simply puts into law the existing status quo. It preserves the system under which we operated for the 2004 elections – WHEN THERE WAS NO CORRUPTION OR SCANDAL. It’s supported by bloggers left and right.
  • HR 4900 (also known as the CDT proposal) is NOT an acceptable alternative to HR 1606. It’s attractive, and while complicated it has a lot to like – and we can look at it after we pass 1606 – but this is the bottom line: if HR 1606 is not passed TOMORROW, the FEC will issue regulations for politics on the internet.
  • The reformers regulators merely want to delay the process while the Commission will be forced to issue regulations.
  • This is a TINY, TINY law. It does NOT open up a gaping loophole – and you can support BCRA and still believe that this little tiny section of American politics ought to be free. (don’t trust me – ask FEC Chairman Michael Toner)

Seriously folks – it’s gameday. Get on the horn. If you need the views of a democrat – check Bob Bauer. He’s all over it.

Update [2006-3-15 12:36:51 by krempasky]: – about an hour ago – the Chairman of the FEC announced a one-week pause in the final vote on regulations TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS TO HR 1606 tomorrow. It couldn’t be more clear: pass HR 1606 or face regulations on the internet. Period.

This bill should be important to all who blog and care about free speech. In fact, Wizbang’s Kevin Aylward was one of the original signers of the Online Coaltion.

Others blogging:
Skeptic’s Eye
Daily Kos (yes, we’re in this one together)

Update: The House vote has been delayed for a week because McCain & company keep playing political games.

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