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View Diary: HR 1606: real agenda revealed (269 comments)

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  •  except (0+ / 0-)

    I don't want loopholes for the net, that is a concern.

    What should happen in my view is we should have CFR and the FEC should apply that to various domains.

    To put the status quo in stone at this point DOES change things.

    The status quo is not as reliable. If Sinclair came in to the net looking like they were breaking the laws, then the FEC could do something.  Once that ASSUMED status quo, which is really "FEC discretion", is in law, then there is a guarantee, and there the FEC is somewhat removed.

    And I didn't ask a negative to be mentioned.  He's worried the site is under attack.  It's not going to be illegal to have an internet host, so it's some features he's worried about.  If he's worried about nothing, then there is nothing to mention, otherwise I could hear what they are, and judge that.

    Does he want to give away ads to politicians for free?

    Does he just want to make sure he can list them in his blogroll, which he doesn't charge for?

    Is he worried his op-ed work will be an in kind contribution?

    •  Of course this site will be attacked. (0+ / 0-)

      Now you're just being obtuse. The highest profile sites will be the first ones on the line. The worse they can make it for them, the more chilling the effect on the smaller sites.

      Tom Allen says it out loud, but it's being said in the silences as well.

      Sinclair's a non-starter because the fuss that got them in trouble came from the blogs-the very arena we're in-and that eventually bounced to the FEC for whatever action they ended up taking. (Did they take any? I honestly don't recall any.  All the flack I remember was from the blogs, and a few news reports that picked up on investor unease.)

      Fox Radio was mentioned by somebody else as an example. It has the media exemption, and can point support for particular candidates.

      The internet is a great equalizer because of its low barrier to entry for anyone seeking influence.

      The House failing to pass 1606 is a signal that they want those barriers up to protect the Beltway.

      They're digging a moat to mix a metaphor.

      A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

      WAtR

      by boadicea on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 11:30:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Re your Sinclair Example (0+ / 0-)

      I can't find any example that the FEC did anything about this at all. So your speculative comparison seems pretty off point to me.

      Carol Darr, and her cohorts have said they want to bring sites like this one to heel. Why do you not take them at their word?

      Interestingly, when I was looking for info on the Sinclair example, I came across this article. Warning, pdf file.

      I'd like to quote a section:

      While campaign finance law does treat broadcast advertising differently from print journalism, the media exemption is the same in both cases. Newspapers and magazines, for their part, have published exposés and investigations of candidates for as long as there have been elections. While some of those reports have been highly biased, non-paid content in regular newspapers and magazines has never been viewed as violating campaign finance law. The FEC is a governmental agency, after all, and there is always the danger that it could strip dissenting journalists and muckrakers of the media exemption just when they are trying to present important information to the American people.

      This is the protection I seek for blogging. H.R. 1606 would affirmatively do so.

      A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

      WAtR

      by boadicea on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 11:53:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe there are people gunning (0+ / 0-)

        but I don't see that you've argued that HR1606 addresses that in some specific way, you denied the need to be specific, warning of attack are enough. A mushroom cloud could appear over dkos any minute.

        Basically you want to defend dkos. You want to make sure it has exemptions.

        Dkos is a private corporation.

        So to give it exemptions requires giving the same exemptions to ALL PRIVATE CORPORATIONS.

        That's not a liberal move.

        I have also argued this at redstate and the BEST defense of these positions is by those that just don't like CFR period. They say, "yeah, create a loophole there and hopefully it will grow". I consider that an honest take on this, you know, debating CFR itself, in general, regardless of the medium.

        You can play "of course ... you're being obtuse" all day but you know what... "of COURSE" corporations are going to try to exploit a loophole for private companies on the net.

        Kos' position on this is laissez-faire... and that's not liberal.

        •  My desire is to protect blogging and internet (0+ / 0-)

          communications. They have become a vital and essential distributor of news, analysis, dialog, and yes, activism.

          Dkos is by definition included in that, but it's not the limit of it.

          As for what 1606 does, here's the short version of the Bill. It may be the bill in its entirety, I'm not sure.

          From the house.gov website info (I got different pages every search, so I can't really pin down a link):

          Online Freedom of Speech Act (Reported in House)

          HR 1606 RH

          Union Calendar No. 211

          109th CONGRESS

          2d Session

          H. R. 1606

          [Report No. 109-389]

          To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to exclude communications over the Internet from the definition of public communication.

          IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

          April 13, 2005

          Mr. HENSARLING introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on House Administration

          March 13, 2006

          Additional sponsors: Mr. PAUL, Mrs. MUSGRAVE, Mr. FLAKE, Mr. RYAN of Ohio, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. CANNON, Mr. BOUCHER, Mr. KENNEDY of Minnesota, and Mr. BISHOP of Utah

          March 13, 2006

          Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

          A BILL

          To amend the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 to exclude communications over the Internet from the definition of public communication.

               Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

          SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

               This Act may be cited as the `Online Freedom of Speech Act'.

          SEC. 2. MODIFICATION OF DEFINITION OF PUBLIC COMMUNICATION.

               Paragraph (22) of section 301 of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(22)) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: `Such term shall not include communications over the Internet.'.

          Union Calendar No. 211

          109th CONGRESS

          2d Session

          H. R. 1606

          Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

          Simple, elegant, and straightforward.

          A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

          WAtR

          by boadicea on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 12:19:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  that doesn't save the (political) internet (0+ / 0-)

            it hands it over to money.

            Exceptions for communications over the internet.

            In 10 years EVERYTHING will be over the internet... ALL COMMUNICATIONS.

            VOIP, Radio, Video on Demand, I already get most my information through the net and it's TOTALLY excepted from CFR?  From "public communications".  When you comminicate on the NET it's not "public communications"??!?

            This is a good start for someone that hates CFR.... ironically I'm not a huge fan of CFR in general, but I do want the laws we try on for size wrt CFR to be across the board, and if we are anti-CFR it should be in general.

            Are you against Campain Finance Reform law?

            •  Like Kos I think it's a lot more complicated (0+ / 0-)

              that it should be to be effective.

              To be blunt, it don't work now, why would I want to extend its reach?

              That's why I'm more a public finance campaign supporter.

              I've seen examples of the reporting requirements. It's odious, and a huge barrier to regular citizen participation.

              A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

              WAtR

              by boadicea on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 12:48:49 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  the money issue (0+ / 0-)

                for the record: I think the money issue is important, but it's also about propaganda, no amount of money should fool a thinking person... though we don't all have time to filter out too many lies, so it's good to regulate that area, but still.

                My main election concerns is that we count votes accurately, we should not miscount more than one in a million votes, imo.

                People can educate themselves to avoid falling for propaganda after all, but only the government can secure elections.

                •  We are as one in re voting (0+ / 0-)

                  I know CFR and Election Reform are conjoined twins too often separated to their (and our) detriment. If I have to pick one to work on first, it's Election reform. And I'm pretty radical about it, too.

                  The only guard against propaganda is dilution. By which I mean, once again, the most powerful flow possible of public discourse.

                  A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

                  WAtR

                  by boadicea on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 03:02:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

      •  btw, sinclair (0+ / 0-)

        right, the FEC didn't do anything, but Sinclair has NO REASON to care about the small amount of public pressure from the political sector, most people didn't know about the issue... they caved a bit (they edited the piece and gave time to the "other" side, iirc, I never saw it)... the public pressure was only a threat because the FEC could rule against them, and the pressure therefore has a threat, not directly on Sinclair, but on the FEC to police Sinclair.

        If there is a legal exception on the net stopping the FEC from being threatening, you can bet there is no problem and they'll produce whatever they can get away with.

        it pertains.

        It's times like this why I other times recommend a relativistic perspective... PUT yourself in their shoes. You know they'll push it to the limit... so what's the limit under 1606?

        •  The same for both sides. (0+ / 0-)

          And the internet is the only available media outlet that can be said about.

          This is not the end of the battles to keep the internets running free, (see Google in China or AOL in your inbox) but it is the one enjoined right now.

          A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

          WAtR

          by boadicea on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 12:43:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  free and laissez faire (0+ / 0-)

            we are understand each other on many respects, and many of the principles I see you using I agree with fully.  I'm all for "information wants to be free" and for high standards of free speech on the net.

            But we are dealing here with the illusive relationship beteen laissez faire type freedom and actual freedom.

            Having no regulation does not lead to freedom, it leads to bullyism, to monopolization, to drowing the opponent with more resources, such as money.  It's about allowing people to get unfair advantages and saying it's only fair and in the name of freedom.

            So the worry I'm talking about is if you put Sinclair and the rest of us on an "even" playing field... that's not even, they have a lot more resources.  I want them regulated SO MUCH, I'm willing to let dkos be regulated.

            •  I'm not laissez faire about many things. (0+ / 0-)

              But I've seen the internet become so much more than anyone but the wildest visionaries could have expected 10 years ago that I believe the public benefits most by the least regulation on this.

              And as for regulating corporations, I'm of the opinion that unfunded mandates for the SEC are every bit as dangerous as the ones for NCLB.

              A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. - Edward Abbey

              WAtR

              by boadicea on Fri Mar 17, 2006 at 01:05:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I do actually... (0+ / 0-)

                ... respect that perspective and view myself as coming from it... but as with all things some conscious construction (aka regulation) is requires to protect the minorities and the dreamers from the bullies and the schemers.

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