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View Diary: Corrupt Democracy 21 (155 comments)

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  •  err, no. (none)
    Meehan's bill does not "ensure a free and unfettered blogosphere," for reasons I've stated far too many times.

    And HR 1606 would not have "eliminated all restrictions on buying advertising on the internet," as people here know by now.

    •  Err Kos' characterization not mine (none)
      Kos mixed up the bill numbers in the main post. I see it has now been corrected.

      While you disagree with the sponsors about whether 4194 truly "ensure(s) a free and unfettered blogosphere," the purpose of the bill is to limit the regulatory reach of the FEC, in response to concerns that the current law is potentially restrictive of free speech rights and unduly burdensome. Your opposition would be more honest if you would be clear that you beleive it is insufficient instead of portaying it as additional regulation in itself.

      As for 1606. It does exactly remove all restrictions on buying advertising on the web. It does not eliminate other restrictions on campaign fundraising and expenditures so direct spending by campaigns is uneffected, but it opens the door to unlimited coordinated expenditures by any entity which is not proscribed from political activity of any sort. As for why the loophole wasn't used more vigorously when it was opened by the FEC: the Net was less mature especially as a focus of political activity, and the regulatory interpretation was questionable at best so serious players probably didn't think it was worth the potential hassel.

      •  That's Not Right (none)
        1.  The FEC, acting alone, would be more protective of free speech online than would the world HR 4194 would create.  I've been over this before, but, basically, that bill would stifle non-"blog" technology, and I think poses real (and deliberate) threats to sites like this on the "principal purpose) test.

        2.  That's one guess I had on why the "loophole" wasn't exploited, but, still, given what others attempted with the '527 loophole', I think it's insufficient.  I just don't think there's much to be gained from online coordination or soft money spending.

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