Thursday, March 03, 2005

Money like water

Another reason to hate the campaign finance laws, which do nothing to keep money out of politics, but merely make its influence harder to trace:

Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over.
In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.
Smith should know. He's one of the six commissioners at the
Federal Election Commission, which is beginning the perilous process of extending a controversial 2002 campaign finance law to the Internet.

In 2002, the FEC exempted the Internet by a 4-2 vote, but U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly last fall overturned that decision. "The commission's exclusion of Internet communications from the coordinated communications regulation severely undermines" the campaign finance law's purposes, Kollar-Kotelly wrote.

Smith and the other two Republican commissioners wanted to appeal the Internet-related sections. But because they couldn't get the three Democrats to go along with them, what Smith describes as a "bizarre" regulatory process now is under way.

What are the Democratic members afraid of?


Blogger Mark Rauterkus said...

This is an interesting twist of possible events in the future. I'm not sure, yet, what to forcast. But, it would be great to huddle with some others in a half-day roundtable or seminar on such a topic.

We are finishing up some campaign finance reform bills to come to city council now. I'm on a task force. The talk has been interesting. That could be another purpose of the meeting or meetings.

I'm game. Can you get a room? Will you do the keynote? We can get the CMU and Pitt Libertarians to print up some posters.

Thanks for the consideration.

12:27 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

I don't believe in limits on campaign contributions. I think they cause more harm than good.

9:56 AM


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