10. March 2005 · Comments Off on McCain and Feingold Say Blogs Are Safe · Categories: Media Matters Not, Politics

This from CNET:

Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold reassured the Internet community that bloggers will not be regulated by federal campaign finance laws.

The senators, who authored the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 known as the McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform law, issued a statement on Tuesday in response to comments made by a Federal Elections Commission commissioner in a CNET News.com interview last week.

“The latest misinformation from the antireform crowd is the suggestion that our bill will require regulation of blogs and other Internet communications,” they said. “This issue has nothing to with private citizens communicating on the Internet.”

In an interview published on CNET News.com on March 3, Bradley Smith, one of six commissioners on the Federal Elections Commission, said campaign finance laws could be applied to Internet bloggers and online media that link to campaign sites.

In 2002, the FEC exempted the Internet by a 4-2 vote, but U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly last fall overturned that decision. Smith claimed this decision opened the door to regulation for bloggers and online media.

I say that we must still remain vigilant in assuring that our medium remain free. I mean, I could see the hammer coming down on a blogger who accepts a blogad from a “political organization.” I intend to write my representative and senators before the weekend is out, stating my desire that our rights to free expression be specifically codified.

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