Krempasky Asks FEC Not to Invoke Federal Might Against Bloggers, Political Speech on Internet
RedState.org's Mike Krempasky has been the Blogosphere's man on the spot concerning proposals being considered by the Federal Election Commission to regulate political speech on the Internet. The FEC began a two-day hearing on the issue today and Krempasky was among those testifying.
Here's just a snippet from his fine testimony:
"There is no doubt that the Commission recognizes the difficulty in extending the media exemption to these citizen journalists. It is imperative that it does so. What goal would be served by protecting Rush Limbaugh’s multimillion dollar talk radio program – but not a self-published blogger with a fraction of the audience?
"How is the public benefited by allowing CNN to evade regulation while spending corporate dollars to put campaign employees on the airwaves as pundits, while forcing bloggers to scour the Record and read Commission advisory opinions?
"Worse yet, if the Commission were to adopt a policy of examining individual blogs on a case-by-case basis, how is that to be distinguished from a government license to publish free of jeopardy – only granted (or denied) after the fact?
"Unlike previous Commission investigations in the offline world, these cases would affect not large corporations or interest groups with the ability to hire the best firms in Washington, but instead unsophisticated and unfounded individuals poorly suited to navigate the Commissions regulatory process."
You can and should read the entire Krempasky statement here. Others testified today and will testify tomorrow. I'll be posting commentary and links on all of them.
Former FEC staffer Alyson Hayward updates on the progress of the hearings thus far, observing that "in general, I understand the testimony and the Commissioners questions have seemed protective of internet journalism and communications." That's encouraging, but let's wait till we see the final rule before reaching any conclusions.
Krempasky offers some initial post-hearing observations here.