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View Diary: Corrupt Democracy 21 (155 comments)

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  •  Honestly (none)
    We've tried that.  We've engaged in substantive debate for months on these issues on this website.  We've made clear our willingness to work with anyone to put together a bill that both protected Internet free speech while closing the soft money loophole.  They haven't been interested, instead attacking our letters to Congress for "circulating on the Internet" while not addressing their substance.

    If Fred Wertheimer gets his way, this site ceases to function as-is.  It becomes a political committee with reporting and disclosure requirements, if it can function at all.

    So I understand Markos' frustration.

    •  Believe me, I do too. (none)
      This whole issue is frustrating. But "...akin to Abramoff...?"

      If we can't get them to produce an acceptable draft, I would lean toward doing nothing rather than doing harm. And I kow you've been trying (I nominated you to be a front-pager in Kos' previous post), but this is not the way to get respect from these people. Maybe I'm just too naive in thinking we can still persuade them of anything.

      •  Just (none)
        using Fred's own logic against him.
        •  I got that, I just think it went too far. (none)
          Maybe you need to lean hard to port just to get the boat level.
        •  your logic against you (none)
          why don't you just flip that coin and use your logic on you.

          You are for unregulated corporate political spending... therefore you love Halliburton.

          Sometimes you criticise them, but this proves you really want to help them out.  What a corrupt hypocritical hipoty hypocrite.

          come on kos, don't play it that way, it's pointless.

          If all those that differed with you were evil... you'd be conservative.

          •  SO you want Kos to shut down? (none)
            What happens to YOUR blog?  Wertheimer hates folks like you as much as he does Kos.
            •  Yes, he does. (none)
              He also hates America and puppies.  Possibly also apple pie and motherhood.
              •  Have you read Adam's posts? (none)
                You're acting as if Kos is the main/only mover behind this (and that other, less-well-compensated bloggers don't exist), so you're saying that it's all about the money.

                Well, as far as I know, Adam B doesn't get any money from DKos (aside from whatever compensation he may get for fighting legal battles), and is one of the go-to guys on preserving bloggers' free speech rights.  It's hard to make the argument that these guys are living high on the hog here.

                And I can tell you that I certainly don't, because I don't take ads at all -- yet my own blog, which is little more than a series of Letters to the Editor, would fall prey to Wertheimer's proposals.

                •  Let's put it this way. (none)
                  I don't buy the spin.  I don't believe that the FEC is going to regulate my little blog out of existence, or that Common Cause of Democracy 21 want that to happen, either.

                  I see this as hysteria along the lines of "The War on Christmas."

                  •  don't worry about "spin" (none)
                    Read their bill.  Read the actual thing.  The protections it seeks to offer political activity online are narrow.

                    Better yet, read their comments on the Fired Up advisory opinion request, which regarded how the FEC should treat a website little different from this one.  In particular, look at this argument from Democracy 21:

                    While some Internet-based entities provide a function identical or similar to classic media activities, and thus reasonably can be said to fall within the press exemption, others surely do not. But the test is the same for online entities as it is for off-line entities: is the entity a "press entity" and is it acting in its "legitimate press function"? Here, the requestor has stated that "Fired Up intends to endorse, expressly advocate, and urge readers to donate funds to the election of Democratic candidates for federal, state, and local office." AOR 2005-16 at 2. It also states that its Web site will contain links to "Democratic and progressive organizations." Id. It "intends aggressively to support progressive candidates and causes at all levels." Id. at 7.

                    In short, Fired Up's self-avowed purpose is to elect Democratic candidates to office, and indeed, to solicit campaign contributions for Democratic candidates. These purely partisan goals may be appropriate for a political organization, but they do not qualify a group as a "press entity."

                    Tell me how they'd treat this site.
                    •  this site (none)
                      is not the test.

                      this is a for profit site.

                      maybe the problem is the way kos has set up this site, if he wanted it to be considered differently than it is.

                      if it's a fundraising site, it should be treated as such, it's not "NOT a fundraising site" because it's on the internet, I know that's not the discriminatory factor, it can't be.

                      while I'm dissappointed in the way dkos has gotten, I still appreciate it and hope it succeeds, but I think it's dangerous to start using it as a litmus test... "is this law good for dkos"?

                      Maybe it WOULD be good for dkos, maybe dkos would have to change a bit for the better, I don't know the future or how kos would react to regulation.

                      I do know how people react to unfettered power though.

            •  please link the hate (none)
              I have yet to see it.

              Just like I don't see the corruption of having a position on legislation.

          •  um, no (none)
            No one here is for unlimited corporate spending on politics, or even limited -- 2 USC 441b prevents that from occurring, online or off, regarless of what Congress now does.

            The question is whether how to regulate political activity online, if at all.  We believe that regulation here should go after real and known harms, erring on the side of underregulation.  Wertheimer et al seem to believe that unless you fit into a tiny box of acceptable behavior, you might have to start filing FEC forms.

    •  Huh (none)
      As I read the minority concurrence on that ruling, two members indicated that even thought the site in question intended to be a wholly partisan platform for advocating the election of democrats, and was run by three individuals closely tied to the state Democratic party, including both elected officials and campaign professionals, that it was not either controlled by a political party or primarily engaged in campaign activities.

      Nonetheless they were unwilling to establish a precedent that any internet site was entitled to the press exemption regardless of its circumstances, and particularly to hold open the concern that Fired Up could come to fall in the restricted category. (If for example editor Roy Temple returned to the post of Executive Director of the State Democratic Party, or if the site became solely a campaign vehicle for a federal candidate).

      The facts of the Fired Up case are not very different from the circumstances of Daily Kos, and the unanimous decision of the commissioners was that it was entitled to the press exemption. There is nothing in this to worry about except your rhetoric.

      •  respectfully (none)
        That's not how I read it.  I read the concurrence as "We don't have the evidence yet, but we could easily see deciding that a site like this has 'electing Democrats' as its major function, not spreading commentary."

        In other words, be scared.

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