The Federal Election Commission has decided that they have the power to regulate political speech, including bloggers. Apparently the First Amendment isn't on their radar screen. Declan McCullagh broke the story and Captain's Quarters has more details.
The decision to do defecate upon the Bill of Rights comes to us by a complicated path. The original bill (the so-called Campaign Finance Reform Act)
was written by Senators McCain (RINO) and Feingold. In the 2000
campaign, Bush promised to veto the bill, but once in office reversed
himself and signed it.
The bill was fast-tracked to the Supreme Court. No one seriously
expected it would survive. In a world where penumbras and
chilling effects receive Constitutional deference, how could
legislation that blatantly violated the First Amendment survive a
Supreme Court review? Nevertheless, it did.
After the FEC declined to regulate internet speech in the 2002 and 2004
campaigns, Senator McCain filed a lawsuit demanding that the FEC
regulate internet speech on top of everything else. Clinton
appointee Kollar-Kotelly ruled that the exclusion of internet
communications severely undermines the purpose of the law, thus
requiring the FEC to regulate political speech on the internet.
The three Republican commissioners wanted to appeal the decision. The three Democratic commissioners refused to allow an appeal. And that is how we got stuck with this steaming pile of unConstitutional bullshit.
Do you run a political blog? Do you link to candidate's websites
or post information on your weblog which they provided to you, perhaps
via a mailing list or on their own webpage? Do you carefully
account for the value of these "contributions" to those campaigns? Do
you stop using their material, or providing links to their campaign
websites, if your contributions exceed the legal maximum?
If you don't, you too can become acquainted with Federal prison.
Well, I've been mad as hell about this law ever since it was
passed. And now that the last gasp of sanity has been removed,
and this law stands at the very threshold of affecting me, personally,
because I do run a blog about politics, I have this to say: