DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" ""> PELICANPOST.BLOGSPOT.COM: Breaking Good News for Bloggers: FEC will not regulate political speech on the Internet....

Monday, March 27, 2006

Breaking Good News for Bloggers: FEC will not regulate political speech on the Internet....

Great ruling by the Federal Election Commission. With the exception of paid political ads placed on another person's website, freedom of political speech and expression will not be regulated by the FEC, not even in the 60-day period preceding a national election.

In other words, the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Law will not be able to extend its unconstitutional tentacles to control free speech and expression on the Internet.

This is a good day for the First Amendment and for all of us bloggers---as well as for political campaigns, online publishers, and non-profits.

The only thing that concerns me is use of the Internet by foreigners to influence American elections---something that has long been illegal for them to do through contributions of money and in-kind donations, but was done under the radar anyway, visible particularly in the Clinton/Gore campaign-fundraising.

And, in the 2004 election, we saw Kofi Annan using his position as Secretary General of the United Nations to influence an American presidential election---against President George W. Bush.

But, I'll take this FEC ruling and run with it.... and do my Scarlet O'Hara thing and worry about the rest tomorrow. After all, as Scarlet put it: "Tomorrow is another day."

More below and at breitbart.
"FEC Won't Regulate Internet Politics"

The Federal Election Commission decided Monday that the nation's new campaign finance law will not apply to most political activity on the Internet. In a 6-0 vote, the commission decided to regulate only paid political ads placed on another person's Web site.

The decision means that bloggers and online publications will not be covered by provisions of the new election law. Internet bloggers and individuals will therefore be able to use the Internet to attack or support federal candidates without running afoul of campaign spending and contribution limits.

"It's a win, win, win," Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, adding that the rule would satisfy concerns of campaigns, individuals and the Internet community about whether the campaign finance law applies to Internet political activity.

The commission was forced to act after a federal court ruled that the FEC must extend some of the campaign financial and spending limits to political activity on the Internet....

"The law was never intended to regulate private citizen communication on the Internet," said Commission Vice Chairman Robert D. Lenhard. "I believe that we have achieved that goal today."

Commissioners said the new rule also specifically changes several other FEC regulations to make it clear that Internet activity, such as blogging, e-mail communications and online publications, is not covered by the campaign law....

Bloggers would be entitled to the same exemption from the campaign finance law that newspapers and other traditional forms of media receive. "There will be no second class citizens among members of the media," Toner said...."

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