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  •  The AEI is against HR 1606 (0+ / 0-)

    When the AEI is against something, you know it has to be good

    Norman Orenstein

    The House is scheduled to take up another one Thursday--H.R. 1606, known as the Online Freedom of Speech Act, sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas). When the Federal Election Commission passed a regulation using the exact same words as Hensarlingâ€TMs bill, it was summarily rejected by the federal judge overseeing the implementation of BCRA. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) echoed Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotellyâ€TMs concerns.

    What does the Hensarling bill do? In simple terms, it exempts all Internet communications, including paid advertising, from any of the provisions and restrictions present in BCRA. Someday, paid advertising on the Internet will compete with, then outdistance, broadcast advertising. The Hensarling bill would let union dues and money from corporation coffers--that is, soft money--that is now blocked to influence directly the outcome of elections through the back door. Some day, this back door will be a very wide front door.

    The ostensible purpose of H.R. 1606 is to make sure Web loggers are not caught in the web (small â€oew”) of campaign finance restrictions. Thatâ€TMs a good idea. But a blunderbuss approach is neither necessary nor constructive.

    The forces of crony capitalism are threatened. That is what it means when the AEI comes after you.

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