A Lone Voice in the Wilderness
I realize that this puts me at odds with just about every blogger in the known universe, but I don’t intend to sign the online petition seeking a “blogging exemption” from FEC regulation.
I object to carving out blogging as an exception to a patently unconstitutional law. For example, I don’t like language like this:
While paid political advertising on the Internet should remain subject to FEC rules and regulations, curtailing blogs and other online publications will dampen the impact of new voices in the political process and will do a disservice to the millions of voters who rely on the web for original, insightful political commentary.
I disagree with this, to the extent that “paid political advertising” includes political speech by individuals — whether it takes place on or off the internet; and whether or not it is done in “coordination” with a candidate or campaign.
In my view, political speech is speech at the core of the First Amendment. Neither the FEC nor any other government agency has any right to regulate it in any way. When my right to engage in such speech is threatened, my impulse is not to seek out a law carving out some exception for my speech. My impulse is to tell those responsible that they can go to hell.
Look at the big picture, folks. This isn’t about our precious Internet. It’s about the very concept of free speech.
What we’re seeing is not a crazy offshoot of campaign finance “reform” legislation. It’s a logical consequence of it. Something this important can’t be handled by legislation, and left to the whims of lawmakers and regulators. It is a constitutional issue, and affects all free speech. We must treat it that way.
Is anyone out there with me?
Anyone at all?