The Lonely Centrist

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Friday, November 04, 2005

More Doublespeak from "Reformers" on Internet Regulation

Why are bloggers and other internet activists are up in arms over the increased regulation of the internet being promoted in the name of campaign finance reform? You need only read this statement, released yesterday by the Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center, Public Citizen, and USPIRG, the groups promoting such regulation. The groups were celebrating the fact that the House failed by a vote of 225 in favor to 182 opposed to exempt the internet from one portion of the McCain-Feingold law. The majority wasn't enough to pass the measure: due to a procedural hurdle, a two-thirds affirmative vote was needed.

If you were a blogger, would this excerpt soothe you?

We have consistently stated that we support affirming that bloggers communicating on their own Web sites are not covered by the campaign finance laws, as long as it is done in a way that does not undermine the nation’s laws to protect against corruption.

Let's see - it must be "your own" web site; and "must be done ina way that does not undermine the nation's laws." Of course, those familiar with the issue know that these same reformers have been talking out of both sides of their mouths ever since the issue began to catch the public eye. And when was the last time they favored any measure loosening restrictions on any part of the public? Can one envision these guys ever admitting that increased political activity does not "undemine the law?"

Update: Here is a nice column by the Skeptic, Allison Hayward. And a very complete analysis, with lots of links, from Mat Johnston at Going to the Mat. Lots on Red State, too. And Daily Kos, too - this really is a left/right issue. The first of the Kos posts linked is interesting because Adam Bonin, the lawyer who has been representing bloggers on this issue, notes that the reason the freedom side could not muster the two-thirds majority required by the rule under which the bill was brought to a vote is because the reform groups are loaded with big money and lobbyists.

  • The Skeptic
  • Andrew Sullivan
  • Michael Barone
  • The New Republic
  • National Review
  • Democracy Project
  • Bob Bauer
  • Center for Competitive Politics
  • Ryan Sager
  • Going to the Matt
  • Professor Bainbridge
  • Volokh Conspiracy
  • Mystery Pollster
  • Amitai Etzioni
  • Alexander Chrenkoff
  • Middle East Media Research Institute
  • Right Democrat
  • Democrats for Life