FEC vs. the Internet

You may have noticed the firestorm generated by Declan McCullagh's interview with Brad Smith where Smith conveys (with alarm) the court-ordered extension of campaign finance regulation to the Internet.

Good links on this topic (which also have good links themselves):

I've also seen a number of comments pretty much in the "Help, my ox is being gored" vein, but the above seem relatively substantive. But it all goes back to McCain-Feingold and campaign finance "reform". And beyond Sentators McCain and Feingold themselves there are so many people to blame:

  1. The craven congresscritters who voted for McCain-Feingold;
  2. The mainstream media; they were, of course, exempt from the law's regulation but largely ignored the First Amendment impact of the regulations on everyone else;
  3. President Bush, who signed it (no profile in courage there);
  4. The five Supreme Court Justices that voted to uphold the law's major provisions (O'Connor, Stevens, Souter, Breyer, and Ginsburg);
  5. Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who ruled that the FEC had to apply campaign finance regulations to the Internet.

… and probably some others I've missed.

The only good news about this is that the inevitably intrusive and burdensome regulations will be biting a very verbose and influential class of citizens. There's a slim hope that the resulting backlash will cause this dreadful law to be repealed.

Last Modified 2005-03-04 5:08 PM EDT