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March 4, 2005

More on the FEC. Yeah, I know, be still your beating hearts. Metafilter commenter Waldo Jacquith addresses the “FEC is going to be forced by McCain-Feingold to regulate political blogging” story: “This is all based on a silly scare-mongering article in News.com.com.com based on an interview with a guy who believes that the FEC should cease to exist, that campaign finance laws are wrong, and that money has no effect on politics at all.” Elsewhere, Jacquith directs us to a write-up, by the NYU School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice, about Mr. Smith:
Brad Smith, a law professor at Capital University Law School, has devoted his career to denouncing the FEC and the laws it is entrusted to enforce in precisely those strident terms. He believes that virtually the entire body of the nationís campaign finance law is fundamentally flawed and unworkable—“indeed, unconstitutional.” He has forcefully advocated deregulation of the system.
I have mixed feelings myself about the constitutionality of some of McCain-Feingold, but it seems increasingly clear that Smith’s “warnings” are, as Electrolite commenter shinypenny put it, a variety of FUD.

Further reading: Chris Bowers of MyDD. A cranky but interesting post from The Iron Mouth (read the comments as well). The reliably excellent Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged. And the rest of Jacquith’s long post on the subject, with particular attention to McConnell vs. FEC and how Bradley Smith has every reason to try playing the liberal blogosphere for suckers.

UPDATE: See also the extremely well-informed Mark “The Decembrist” Schmitt (thanks, Linkmeister). Also see this ton more of useful background from The Iron Mouth. Meanwhile, John Conyers, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, makes it clear that he and his Democratic colleagues, all supporters of campaign finance reform, unambiguously oppose the sort of interference with political blogs being proposed by Bradley Smith. (Thanks to Julia for pointing out that last.) [04:53 PM]

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Comments on More on the FEC.:

Sven ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2005, 06:28 PM:

I'm not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but apparently the power players on Capitol Hill are all buzzing about blogs - particularly paid stealth bloggers who help spread GOP slime - as a great campaign tool.

Spreading FUD would sure be a good way to avoid talk about stopping that practice.

Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: March 04, 2005, 07:06 PM:

See Mark Schmitt at The Decembrist as well.

CmdrSue ::: (view all by) ::: March 06, 2005, 10:24 PM:

I guess I'll have to hang on with hope to the thought:

"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come." ~ Victor Hugo

Blogging is just a new form of an old idea (anyone remember the pamphleteers of the Revolution?), but it's time has definitely come.