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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Krempasky Again Deconstructing FEC Rule to Regulate Political Speech on the Internet

RedState's Mike Krempasky - nominated here previously for the Blogosphere's first Freedom of Speech Hero Award - has a new post on Personal Democracy Forum responding to a recent Findlaw column by Loyola Law School Professor and Election Law Blog writer Rick Hasen.

Hasen's basic point in a column otherwise devoted to arguing that the FEC's rule will probably end up being mostly not a problem for bloggers is that there is nothing wrong with forcing bloggers to disclose who signs their paychecks those doing the signing are with a campaign.

To which Krempasky notes that:
"Under the current law, the FEC does not have the authority to force ANYONE to disclose payments from the receiving end, the onus for disclosure rests with the entity writing the check. To ask bloggers to do so would actually place a higher regulatory burden on them than anyone else in the political universe."

The point that bears repeating over and over and over for people like Hasen is that once the camel gets his nose under the tent, the rest of him follows sooner or later. A little only mildly intrusive regulation today is always followed by a lot of very intrusive regulation tomorrow. It's always easier to stop it today than tomorrow.

UPDATE: Krempasky says a bill exempting the Internet from the FEC has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-TX, as a companion to the measure introduced recently by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV. Go here for details on the Hensarling effort.