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Monday, May 16, 2005

Campaigns and Bloggers
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In a recent blog of my own,"Your Blog Will Be Investigated Soon", I said: "If anyone thinks that 'bloggers' will remain beyond Congress' campaign finance speech regulation just because they invoke 'the Internet', they are probably kidding themselves." In a piece on Tech Central Station entitled "Campaign Money for Bloggers", James D. Miller offers the politically astute observation that "a partisan millionaire should set aside, say, $20 million to give to politically useful bloggers."

Obviously, even if we largely do now, we won't live long in a world without "bloggers for hire". Trying to ferret out those working for a living and those who are "hobbyists" will prove well-nigh impossible. And to have the Government try to enforce a "not-for-hire" regime is wrong anyway as a matter of principle.

So, the inevitable movement of more political campaigning to the Internet ultimately either will be the catalyst that leads to repeal of our current free speech-infringing campaign finance laws, or it will lead to an even bigger public policy and legal mess.

Ultimately, in an unencumbered and free political marketplace, it is the power of the ideas that will prevail. In our ever more diverse information environment, trying to maintain an iron grip on the sources that subsidize ideas will lead further down a First Amendment path to no good.

posted by Randolph May @ 12:41 PM |

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