FEC News

Apologies for getting a slow start on this week's news. Real life kept me pretty busy over the weekend.

That said, the boring but relevant news of the day is that the FEC will not regulate politics on the internet. From the AP:

Regulators brought Internet political advertising under the nation's campaign finance law Monday but declared that all other political activity on the Internet would be untethered by federal rules.

The three Republicans and three Democrats on the Federal Election Commission unanimously adopted a rule requiring anyone placing a paid political ad on a Web site to abide by federal campaign spending and contribution limits.

But the rule also updates existing FEC regulations to make it clear that all other Internet political activity, such as blogging, e-mail communications and online publications, is not covered by the campaign law.
I'm rather surprised that first, Republicans and Democrats agreed on this and second, I think they came to a reasonable agreement.

As media consumption moves away from TV and print, advertising will move away as well. There is no real difference between a campaign spot put in front of viewer's eyes during a TV show and one that shows up on their computer screen. I was afraid that some sort of ceiling would be put in place requiring large group blogs (DailyKos, RedState) to be subject to the FEC in some way. I expected that websites that spend more than X amount of dollars on servers, upkeep, etc. to regulated in some way.
"Individual online political activity will be protected from FEC restriction regardless of whether the individual acts alone or as part of a group, and regardless of whether the individual acts in coordination with a candidate or acts independently,"


Under the new rule, bloggers on the Internet would be entitled to the same exemption from the campaign finance law that newspapers and other traditional forms of media have long received. "There will be no second class citizens among members of the media,"
Essentially, the government has upheld free speech and stated that in the eyes of the FEC, this blog is entitled to the same rights as the New York Times. Who says the media doesn't report good news?

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