Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

FEC draft regulations aren't bad

Adam B over at Daily Kos reports that the FEC draft regulations for political activity on the Internet are now online for your perusal.

There had been great concern that the FEC might propose rules that would force bloggers to follow harsh public disclosure requirements, including possibly even trying to calculate how much a link to a federal campaign might be worth.

But fortunately, the FEC's proposed regulations aren't like that at all. Here's ElectionLaw blogger Professor Rick Hasen:
As a matter of substance, this is about everything that the Internet political community could hope for: broad exemptions for most political activity on the Internet, except by those entities that are already highly regulated (such as political committees and candidates). On top of the explicit, clear, and broad exemptions for election-related blogging and other political activity (even if done by incorporated blogs under most circumstances), the draft FEC document went out of its way to expand the media exemption to cover the Internet, and to make clear that the term "periodical publication" is meant to apply broadly to any kind of reporting or commentary, no matter how updated and no matter how partisan it might be. The proposed rules also create very generous safe harbors for individuals engaged in independent political activity on corporate or union owned computers.

On the whole, I think these are very good rules in preserving robust political speech on the internet that takes place without much danger of the corruption of candidates.
From the looks of it, we've done a good job voicing our concerns to the FEC and making it clear that freedom of speech shouldn't be subject to to a heavy load of campaign finance regulations. We must continue to do so.

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