Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Joint Blarney

From Captain's Quarters, a joint statement from the People's Commissars for GoodThink:

Statement of Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold On Internet Communications

March 8, 2005
As the primary Senate authors of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, we have spent years fighting to clean up elections and ensure that powerful monied interests do not drown out the voices of everyday Americans in our political system. Those interests don't want to give up any of their power, and their main tactic has been to try to whip up fears, however unfounded and unrealistic, about reform.
Wayne LaPierre is an everyday American. So is Kwesi Mfume. So is Patricia Ireland. So are the millions of Americans who joined the NRA, the NAACP, and NOW--except that once these everyday Americans form an effective political organization, they are transformed into a sinister "monied interest" that must be neutralized at the height of the election cycle. That is the "reform" brought about by McCain-Feingold.
The latest misinformation from the anti-reform crowd is the suggestion that our bill will require regulation of blogs and other Internet communications. A recent federal court decision requires the Federal Election Commission to open a new rulemaking on Internet communications. The FEC will be looking at whether and how paid advertising on the Internet should be treated, i.e., should it be treated differently than paid advertising on television or radio.
Since "treatment" of "paid advertising on the Internet" is precisely "regulation of blogs and other Internet communications", the misinformation appears to be the Senators' statement that such a suggestion is somehow false.
This is an important issue -- since BCRA outlawed soft money, we need to make sure that the FEC doesn't try once again to subvert the law by creating loopholes. So far, the FEC has not even proposed new regulations. When it does so, there will be ample opportunity for comment and debate about whatever proposal the FEC makes.
McCain and Feingold can damn the FEC as subversive before it moves--they're Senators! You plebes can just shut up til you're invited to speak!
This issue has nothing to with private citizens communicating on the Internet. There is simply no reason - none - to think that the FEC should or intends to regulate blogs or other Internet communications by private citizens.
There is simply no reason - none - to forget that until 2004, any American could buy an ad referring to any candidate up to the day of the Election without interference by the FEC.
Suggestions to the contrary are simply the latest attempt by opponents of reform to whip up baseless fears. BCRA was intended to empower ordinary citizens, and it has been successful in doing so. We will continue to fight for that goal.
Empowerment of the ordinary meaning repression of extraordinarily committed, organized, and articulate, by the biggest egotist millionaires in the Fifty States.

Thanks for nothing, guys.

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