The Lonely Centrist

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Big Win for Freedom at the FEC

The Federal Election Commission today voted 5-0 to approve Advisory Opinion 2005-16, requested by Fired Up. The opinion agrees that Fired Up is entitled to exemption from the Federal Election Campaign Act as a "press entity." This despite the fact that Fired Up is openly partisan and announced, in its request to the FEC, that it intended to urge readers to contribute to political candidates endorsed by the group. For more, see here or here.

This is a huge win for internet freedom. It means that any group engaging in activity that is "materially indistinguishable" from Fired Up can also claim the press exemption. While it hardly takes care of all bloggers, it is a big step in the right direction, and one I did not think we would see.

Now Congress needs to pass HR 1606, which would codify a broad (but by no means complete) exemption for many internet activities. See here, here, here, here and here for background.

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