Patterico's Pontifications

3/17/2005

Question for Bloggers About FEC Regulation of Blogs

Filed under: Civil Liberties — Patterico @ 7:13 am

Yesterday I said that, if the FEC regulates blogs, I will continue to blog the same way I always have. Some have warned me of the dangers inherent in such a position.

This led to me wonder how unusual my position really is. I suspect that my attitude is widely shared by bloggers, including those who have signed the open letter to the FEC.

I think it’s time to put the question to you directly. Who out there will make this pledge:

If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.

Beldar and Billy Beck have clearly said this. Slim999, who bears a startling resemblance to Keanu Reeves, has created a blog for the express purpose of defying the FEC on this issue. I think that counts.

Judging from the comments I have read over the past few days, I believe there are plenty of others out there who feel the same way. Some of you have said as much in comments, and some of you have written blog posts that are consistent with my view. But I want to see if people will expressly make this pledge on their blog.

Who else will make this pledge? Do a blog post about it, e-mail me at patterico -AT- patterico -DOT- com, and I’ll link it here.

(Since I work for a living, I probably can’t link you until lunchtime or perhaps this evening. In the meantime, there will be a pingback — but pingbacks are automatically moderated, so it may take some time for them to be approved as well, so don’t be concerned if the pingback doesn’t show up immediately.)

UPDATE: I am very heartened by the response. The FEC will have a fight on its hands, and not just with me.

I will put the links to those taking the pledge in a new post.

121 Responses to “Question for Bloggers About FEC Regulation of Blogs”

  1. [...] laquo; Previous Post | Main |


    Patterico asks
    |By SayUncle|

    the question: Who out there will make this pledge: If [...]

    SayUncle : Patterico asks (c5d5ae)

  2. [...] ny regulation of political speech imposed by the FEC on blogs, and wants other bloggers to take the pledge. We’ve been on the record on thi [...]

    Dinocrat » Anti-FEC pledge gaining steam (ea6a9d)

  3. [...] she thinks is unjust. I thought the law was the law, and you had to obey it regardless?!? Patterico is pledging to disobey the law, if created. S [...]

    Gay Orbit » We Will Not Obey The Laws (e0043e)

  4. [...] Blogs are still being added to the long list of bloggers taking the free speech pledge to defy any unconstitutional rules passed by the [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » Take the Free Speech Pledge (0c6a63)

  5. [...] erico’s Challenge Filed under: General Posts — Lennie @ 3:43 pm Patterico has challenged all bloggers t [...]

    Cross Blogging (e67421)

  6. [...] erico’s Challenge Filed under: General Posts — Lennie @ 3:43 pm Patterico has challenged all bloggers t [...]

    Cross Blogging (e67421)

  7. [...] a” question. You’re cleverly trying to justify your lawyerly re-writing of my free speech pledge, by presenting me with a situation w [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » You Got Questions, I Got Answers (0c6a63)

  8. I pledge to start a blog for the express purpose to confront the thought control. It would be a good thing. Again, Bring it On.

    One tactic might also be to bill the various Parties for my “contribution”, and wherever/whenever I make it, defined as it will be in monetary terms. Thought chaos allows this. And I’m sure there will be many other foils which derive, as we will be operating in the ever popular La-La Land of thought control.

    J. Peden (ffccb8)

  9. On the matter of First Amendment rights, please visit my blog NOW. It goes to this matter bluntly.

    James C. Hess (44d18d)

  10. D’oh! They’ll have to pry my keyboard from my cold dead fingers…

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  11. Official Notice
    If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. (see for more on this)…

    The Interocitor (ca7e8c)

  12. Pledge taken yesterday!

    Please, oh please, come arrest me FEC!

    My Pledge is here.

    slim999 (564c96)

  13. Following up on J Peden:

    We should demand that the FEC promulgate a “speech contribution reporting form” prior to imposing any restrictions. This accomplishes three things: It makes the FEC define what it is attempting to regulate; it embarrasses the %$#$ out of the FEC (or should); and it allows us to file these forms (electronically) like drunken monkeys. Might even get someone to create a plugin to automatically send one with each post.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  14. Don’t get mad, get even!
    I’m in. Now who out there will sign this petition to rein in the judges who made speech regulation constitutionally acceptable?

    Vote for Judges (59ce3a)

  15. Let them try to come and get me. This is Texas!

    Mike (516ba1)

  16. I’ll start a blog and immediately begin by bashing the FEC while extoling a candidate for some office or other.

    I’m still angry at Bush for signing that anti-First Amendment, incumbent protection act.

    Veeshir (61554d)

  17. #6 Mike:

    Let them try to come and get me. This is Texas!

    Take a drive up to Waco, and give my regards to the Branch Davidians on the successes they’ve achieved in standing up for thier rights when the police (ATF) tried to use a raid on their home as a TV event.

    If you try to resist via direct action with arms then you have already lost! This must be a political fight, you will lose a gun fight.

    You can use an AR-15 or a .50 cal? So did Koresh! Not real useful when they can turn it into a tank fight!

    When they’re telling the reporters the nut holed up in the hostage situation has a history of pedophila and has a suspected “meth lab,” what will you do then? Two choices: submit or die.

    Ranten N. Raven (cb0612)

  18. I made my pledge. FEC doesn’t have the room in any prison to round us all up, but they’re welcome to to try.

    CT (f412c9)

  19. Obeying the Rules
    Patterico is asking for bloggers to make a pledge of defiance against the FEC. Yesterday I said that, if the FEC regulates blogs, I will continue to blog the same way I always have. Some have warned me of the dangers inherent in such a position. This l…

    Michael Williams -- Master of None (821c19)

  20. Obeying the Rules
    Patterico is asking for bloggers to make a pledge of defiance against the FEC. Yesterday I said that, if the FEC regulates blogs, I will continue to blog the same way I always have. Some have warned me of the dangers inherent in such a position. This l…

    Michael Williams -- Master of None (821c19)

  21. Obeying the Rules
    Patterico is asking for bloggers to make a pledge of defiance against the FEC. Yesterday I said that, if the FEC regulates blogs, I will continue to blog the same way I always have. Some have warned me of the dangers inherent in such a position. This l…

    Michael Williams -- Master of None (821c19)

  22. If Worse Comes to Worst
    . . . will you defy the FEC and continue your political blogging as you normally would? Patterico asks the question. My answer: hell, yeah. I’ll be surprised if it comes to that, but you never know. The government has…

    Little Miss Attila (1483fa)

  23. Way ahead of you here, I made my pledge of non-compliance weeks ago.

    I will go out of my way to ‘violate’ any rules imposed on blogs, and with a clear conscience – the Campaign Finance Law is contrary to the constitution, and thus is no law it all. It can be violated with impunity.

    Am I A Pundit Now? (3ad205)

  24. This Blog Takes the Patterico Pledge
    "Patterico":http://patterico.com/2005/03/16/2756/what-to-do-about-the-tyranny-of-government-regulation-of-speech/ discusses concerns that the FEC may seek to limit the freedom of speech of bloggers wit…

    The Big Picture (8da0de)

  25. The Pledge…
    Patterico may not have signed the online petition, but he has issued the following pledge:If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.and is

    Miller's Time (af7df9)

  26. Patterico challenges bloggers
    Patterico has issued a challenge to bloggers. Sort of a “do it or get off the pot” challenge.Yesterday I said that, if …

    Media Lies (11ee8e)

  27. I hereby pledge
    Per Patterico:If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.Now that’s an easy pledge to make.

    Politicalities (af7df9)

  28. Righting the law by writing it ourselves, an Update
    [...] I don’t think those who conceived, developed, voted to approve, signed and/or ruled in support of this law will take much notice or be impressed. [...]

    The Dusty Attic (3a658a)

  29. I am in. My take on it here.

    The Colossus (c2dd88)

  30. Pledged. I’m ready for the cuffs and ankle bracelet.

    rjlippincott (30e043)

  31. Obeying the Rules
    Patterico is asking for bloggers to make a pledge of defiance against the FEC. Yesterday I said that, if the FEC regulates blogs, I will continue to blog the same way I always have. Some have warned me of the dangers inherent in such a position. This l…

    Michael Williams -- Master of None (821c19)

  32. You can’t herd bloggers
    Whom would YOU rather meet in a dark alley? (Baby Cakes in the pre-dawn Crazy Hour, left, and the power-crazed Senator John McCain from Arizona, right). You can’t herd cats, and you can’t herd bloggers, Senator McCain.

    sisu (af7df9)

  33. Don’t get mad, get even!
    I’m in. Now who out there will sign this petition to rein in the judges who made speech regulation constitutionally acceptable?

    Vote for Judges (59ce3a)

  34. Don’t get mad, get even!
    I’m in. Now who out there will sign this petition to rein in the judges who made speech regulation constitutionally acceptable?

    Vote for Judges (59ce3a)

  35. I’m in. Now who’ll sign this petition to pass a constitutional amendment reining in the judges who made free-speech regulation constitutionally acceptable?

    Karl Maher (910b19)

  36. Taking the pledge
    Patterico is taking a stand against proposed Federal Election Commission rules that might the right of people to blog about politics: If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues,…

    The Peoria Pundit (f61b28)

  37. FEC Pledge
    Roger L. Simon links to this Patterico pledge If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. I think I already made the same…

    Pete The Elder (e91d1c)

  38. I already wrote something close to your pledge before, but here is my pledge. I am still skepticle that the FEC is dumb enough to try to regulate political blogging, but

    Pete The Elder (9e0cad)

  39. Well, I don’t know if it counts since I only have a HellJay. – a bit too lazy for a blog, I’m afraid – but I have made the same pledge just in case the FEC ever gets around to wading through the morass of teenaged angst to find the few of us that chatter at times about politics.

    Katsu (e238da)

  40. Patterico’s Pledge
    Patterico is asking bloggers to take the following pledge, publicly:

    If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendmen…

    Cyber-Conservative (11ee8e)

  41. It’s the very attitude displayed here that will prevent the FEC from creating regulations governing internet political speech. We are too prickly for the FEC to pick up and we need to stay that way.
    On the other hand, no one was ever wrong to overestimate how stupid the government can be.
    So, what’s it going to be? “Hope for the best, prepare for the worse.”

    Boman (728e22)

  42. Sue My Pants Off
    After much consideration, a half a can of Pringles, and a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I’m signing onto Patterico’s pledge.

    If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I wil…

    Ubique Patriam Reminisci (465031)

  43. My pledge is here.
    Normally, I would say that ideas as idiotic as this hardly deserve comment. In this instance I’d say they deserve a deluge of comments — delivered to their front door.

    Aggravated DocSurg (919732)

  44. DEAR PATTERICO:
    Count me in. Best, Pejman…

    Pejmanesque (2ae9b5)

  45. TAKING THE PLEDGE
    Patterico asks: Who will take the pledge? If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. That’s pretty easy….

    The Spoons Experience (5ac6f4)

  46. The Battle Begins
    Patterico asks us to put up or (be) shut up by any future FEC rules that could become the progeny of the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002. I think it’s time to put the question to you directly.

    baldilocks (af7df9)

  47. Those of you who have left comments agreeing with the pledge, but haven’t made it in a blog entry:

    Blog it and send me the link!

    Patterico (756436)

  48. Alrighty. . . I’m in.

    tonecluster (da3ae5)

  49. Blog Free!
    Many thanks to Sissy Willis for pointing me to Paterico’s question to bloggers… I think its time to put the question to you directly. Who out there will make this pledge: If the FEC makes rules that limit my First…

    Technicalities (1483fa)

  50. Taking the Pledge
    I take the same pledge as Patterico.

    And I note once again that these Campaign Finance “Reform”First Amendment…

    Dean's World (11ee8e)

  51. Sliding Down The FEC’s Slippery Slope
    The FEC’s regulation of political speech on the internet is a hot topic in the blogosphere.

    POV (af7df9)

  52. “No” To Blog Regulation
    I make the following pledge:

    If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.

    Inspired by

    The Right Spin (11ee8e)

  53. Talking the walk
    Patterico pontificates that the FEC’s noises about political expression on the Internet mean a significant new stage in the erosion of personal liberties: Yesterday I said that, if the FEC regulates blogs, I will continue to blog the same way…

    The White Peril (51988c)

  54. They will not silence the flapping jaws of the Jabberwonk!

    John Varady (579ece)

  55. I Aver
    Patterico’s Pontifications » Question for Bloggers About FEC Regulation of Blogs I shall not pledge. I will aver that I will post on matters and subjects that interest me. If any agency public or private has a problem with that,…

    Mythusmage Opines (71e36e)

  56. “Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance.” –Woodrow Wilson. If needs be, I pledge to resist any effort to restrain my free speech, and will go on blogging as usual.

    Politickal Animal (97de60)

  57. Done. Free speech isn’t just for dissenters you know.

    Oyster (7f7b8a)

  58. Here’s my pledge, Patterico
    I, Patti Niehoff, sole proprietor of white pebble, pledge the following:

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Question for Bloggers About FEC Regulation of Blogs:
    If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core po…

    white pebble (2d8ea5)

  59. First Amendment, Good. FEC, bad
    Patterico has spearheaded a challenge for those who communicate online*.

    * I’m not saying “bloggers” because this could very easily apply to instant messaging and email.

    This Vehicle Makes Wide Right Turns (59ce3a)

  60. I’ve been fighting this unconstitutional idiocy for a long time (see, for example http://www.cs.indiana.edu/~hagerp/PR_camp.html or
    http://www.paulhager.org/sos/pr_soft.htm). I’m still astonished that the Supremes left the McCain-Feingold mostly intact. We’re approaching the natural consequence of allowing politcal speech to be equated with money and thereby regulated. So, of course, I’ll refuse to obey any restriction on internet speech. In fact, this is exactly the sort of overreach that might undue the whole regulatory scheme.

    Paul Hager (1aaf2a)

  61. The pledge.
    If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. There wasn’t any doubt that I would sign up for this one, was there?…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  62. I’m a very small fish, but there is no way that I will restrict what I say online.

    MikeTheLibrarian (f6bbd7)

  63. Taking the Challenge
    Patterico has a challenge (hat tip to Steve at Secure Liberty)I think it’s time to put the question to you directly.

    Pirate's Cove (af7df9)

  64. Taking the Challenge
    Patterico has a challenge (hat tip to Steve at Secure Liberty)I think it’s time to put the question to you directly.

    Pirate's Cove (af7df9)

  65. I probably couldn’t obey such a law if I tried. I’m no lawyer, if it’s illegal to say some things, how can I ever know for sure if I’m phrasing things legally or not? Anyway, link me, link me, I just put the required post here:

    http://davemunger.blogspot.com/2005/03/if-youre-reading-this-blogger-has.html

    Hope I worded it right.

    Dave Munger (0f98e8)

  66. Carpe Bonum Takes the Pledge
    Patterico:Who out there will make this pledge:If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.I will, Pat. And I’ll send the FEC a trackback…

    Carpe Bonum (3016bf)

  67. From my cold, dead hands!
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a …

    Pooklekufr: the Kafir Constitutionalist (59ce3a)

  68. Count me in…
    Patterico poses the following question: who will take the pledge? If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. As I mentioned rather profanely…

    Physics Geek (1483fa)

  69. An Oath Of Defiance
    We are the blogosphere, brothers and sisters, friends and foes, united together in support of freedom. We are diverse voices united in the pursuit of a multiplicity of goals and ideals, based upon our many divergent sets of beliefs and principles. De…

    Precinct 333 (59ce3a)

  70. I’m in, and have posted my own Oath of Defiance over on my site. It is also an oath of unity, for, in the words of Franklin, if we do not hang together we must surely hang seperately.

    The Precinct Chair (684ff2)

  71. Taking the pledge
    Oh, hell yes I will take the pledge. Patterico’s Pontifications � Question for Bloggers About FEC Regulation of Blogs…

    Shadowscope (7f03b3)

  72. TBSC member Brian Scott takes the pledge
    I, Brian Scott take this pledge: " If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules." I will not change how I blog…

    The Blue State Conservatives (d881ce)

  73. Right there with you. It’s part of my template.

    Ethne (a05525)

  74. I will post what I want, when I want, and how I want. I will support any blogger, left or right, who becomes a target of the FCC or McC-F. The Black Flag has been up on my site since 3/5.

    trainer (bfb8a2)

  75. I’ll Answer That Call
    The people in power have held the reins to the debate for too long. Finally, the rest of us are getting a voice. We are using that voice, speaking truth to power, and thus we are a danger. We will not be silenced now.

    The Unrepentant Individual (59ce3a)

  76. I made this part of my sidebar as well.

    Come and get me, FEC. I’m not that hard to find.

    Brad Warbiany (cf74fe)

  77. I will mail the FEC a gold-covered Spork and they can shove it up their a$$.

    Does that count as a pledge…

    DeoDuce (ce556e)

  78. Count me in…
    Patterico poses the following question: who will take the pledge? If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. As I mentioned rather profanely…

    Physics Geek (1483fa)

  79. I won't be silenced: The Badge & the Pledge
    Before I had considered it fully, I signed the Online Coalition's petition to the FEC. Now, I very much regret signing and have asked that my name be removed. Here's why. Now, I've created a badge for bloggers who will take the "Def…

    Dan & Angi have something to say (d5e597)

  80. I’m in! Posting this on the sidebar of my weblog!

    James (be04d7)

  81. Talking the walk
    Patterico pontificates that the FEC’s noises about political expression on the Internet mean a significant new stage in the erosion of personal libe…

    The White Peril 白禍 (11ee8e)

  82. FECkless
    Various and vaguely dissatisfied buzzing at Democracy Project, Volokh, and Wizbang over the FEC’s proposed rules change (doc at Democracy Project) that purports to legalize free speech. This gets my h…

    Spartac.us (be1a09)

  83. FECkless
    Various and vaguely dissatisfied buzzing at Democracy Project, Volokh, and Wizbang over the FEC’s proposed rules change (doc at Democracy Project) that purports to legalize free speech. This gets my hardcore libertarianism up in arms. Who are they to …

    Spartac.us (858f0c)

  84. Congress shall make no law

    sisu (af7df9)

  85. I’m in. If it comes to that, I’ll get an offshore host and hide the URL registration under a half-dozen corporate shells (Caymans, Jersey, Bahamas, etc.) & give subdomains to as many bloggers as I can. Plus, I’ll endorse EVERYONE, including those candidates I wouldn’t trust to make correct change of a dollar without screwing me out of two.

    Mitch (83bdd3)

  86. I Take the Pledge
    If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.

    I, Quincy, do hereby sign the pledge.

    News, the Universe, and Everything (59ce3a)

  87. Thanks for your effort. I join.

    Bill Lalor (ba4233)

  88. Taking the Free Speech Pledge
    The Federal Election Commission wants to regulate bloggers. This is not news. Russ Feingold (Moonbat, WI) assures us that we can ask for an exemption. Patterico has pontificated on that.

    Just as a reminder, a have a big new flag in my sidebar. …

    Photios (59ce3a)

  89. I gladly join in this pledge. Anyone who refuses to do so should be drawn and quartered with his head put on a pike overlooking the Tidal Basin at the Jefferson Memorial.

    Rick Sincere (4619ea)

  90. I’m late, but I’m in!

    jimmyb (325dfb)

  91. [...] A movement to control the political content of the internet is already underway in the United States; and if you think that religion would not be similarly regulated, you are kidding yourself. But again, what of it? I believe God can get His message across without using the Internet; he did so for 2000 years prior to it. In other words, even if this happens, it is not the tragedy you may think it is. [...]

    Pursuing Holiness » Blog Archive » The UN wants the Internet - should Christians care? (57eada)

  92. The Patterico Pledge

    If the FEC makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules.

    Common Sense Political Thought (819604)

  93. [...] If you look on the right hand sidebar, you’ll see the link to The Patterico Pledge, which I have taken. The pledge says: If the Federal Election Commission makes rules that limit my First Amendment right to express my opinion on core political issues, I will not obey those rules. [...]

    Common Sense Political Thought » Blog Archive » Frightening legislation (819604)

  94. [...] Congress doesn’t want bloggers speaking freely. They accept us grudgingly, although I’ll bet some of the lesser known folks on the hard-right, hard-left, or libertarian ends of the spectrum giving them assistance (as I think the blogosphere tends to be populated by ends of the spectrum, rather than the middle). But the vast majority see us as a threat. They saw the Patterico Pledge, and they understand the power of the press, even if it is simply online self-publishing. [...]

    The Liberty Papers»Blog Archive » A Tale of Two Bills (cc313e)

  95. It may be over a year since you wrote this post, but I just found it, and I’m taking the pledge. I’m sending a trackback, but they’ve not been working on my blog lately, so forgive me if it doesn’t show up.

    Terry Dillard (ced6d5)

  96. Traction Control pledges to uphold the Constitutional right to free speech by providing ad and message space to restricted organizations.

    . . .

    Here the First Amendment is protected by the Second.

    USCitizen (c93d5c)

  97. One by one our rights are forfeited in the name of “security”. Security of course is just an illusion. Even the government can’t guarantee that you’re going to live throughout the day.

    The government “of the free” is doing all it can to limit our ability to speak, think or have access to information. Even FOIA is a joke.

    Fortunately, FEC doesn’t reach other countries and we can always set up our websites on servers outside the USA and say what we might.

    If we unveiled how much corruption the government was partipatory in we’d be more shocked than you are now. Truth is more terrifying than fiction or conspiracy.

    AudioInfoMarketing.com

    AudioInfoMarketing.com (7876b1)

  98. We Will Not Obey The Laws…

    Many people, conservatives and non-conservatives have pledged, if Congress and the FEC decide to create rules and laws regulating political speech on blogs, that they will not obey the laws. They’re right of course. Those laws would be unjust.
    It…

    Gay Orbit (879ae5)

  99. Hi, there!..70b8d2c49b4b725ce65d5efbfdac378b

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  100. A man is trying a very unusual way to propose to his girlfriend. He wants people to forward an email to as many people as possible and he hopes that it will eventually get to his girlfriend. Details here: http://www.proposal-to-mary.com

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    ————- SNIP (email text end) —————

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    From the poem MY Mary will know immediately that the proposal is for her.

    I have created a homepage ( http://www.proposal-to-mary.com ) where you can find the current status of my quest. You can use the homepage to check if the proposal has already reached Mary (in that case it is not necessary anymore to forward the mail).

    Once the proposal has reached Mary, I will put a note on these pages. Also I will publish there how many people have read the proposal so that everybody can see how far it has spread and that it is getting closer to Mary.

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    And here is my proposal:

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    My angel,

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    The longer it lasts the more grows our bond And with 80 still – of you I will be fond Whatever happens, I will stay at your side Through good and bad, together let us stride

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    Mary, if you have received that and have recognized me, then give me a sign so that I can continue with the romantic part of my proposal…

    ————- SNIP (email text end) —————

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