Jim Geraghty at TKS reports on the assurances to bloggers provided by Senators McCain and Feingold and FEC commissioner Ellen Weintraub. Geraghty responds that bloggers should be suspicious notwithstanding these assurances.
His points are well-taken. Weintraub’s statement seems particularly lame. She hides behind the fact that a U.S. District Court ruled that the internet isn’t exempt from McCain-Feingold. But she doesn’t explain why the FEC didn’t appeal that ruling. Fellow commissioner Bradley Smith says that the Democrats on the commission blocked the appeal. Weintraub also notes that the FEC hasn’t drafted its rules yet. But she offers no assurances that the FEC’s thinking isn’t headed in the direction Smith described. She implies that bloggers will get to “use their electronic soapbox to voice their political views.” That’s big of the government. But our concern is not that blogs will be eliminated, just regulated. As Captain Ed explains, it’s difficult to examine the lawsuit filed by McCain-Feingolf and the district court’s decision (never mind Bradley Smith’s comments) and not believe that this concern is well-founded.
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