I hope you'll forgive me for not yet commenting on these myself, but I did want to let everyone know that the FEC draft regulations for political activity on the Internet are now online.  They will be voted upon this Monday morning.

Do not be intimidated by the fact that it's a 96-page document; most of it is a discussion of the regulations and a response to your (yes, your) written comments to the FEC from last spring.  The actual regulations take up about ten pages at the end.

Commissioners Lenhard and Weintraub, both Democrats, have posted a two-page summary of the draft regulations that you might find useful.

Finally, ElectionLaw blogger Prof. Rick Hasen has some initial reactions, including:

As a matter of substance, this is about everything that the Internet political community could hope for: broad exemptions for most political activity on the Internet, except by those entities that are already highly regulated (such as political committees and candidates). On top of the explicit, clear, and broad exemptions for election-related blogging and other political activity (even if done by incorporated blogs under most circumstances), the draft FEC document went out of its way to expand the media exemption to cover the Internet, and to make clear that the term "periodical publication" is meant to apply broadly to any kind of reporting or commentary, no matter how updated and no matter how partisan it might be. The proposed rules also create very generous safe harbors for individuals engaged in independent political activity on corporate or union owned computers.

On the whole, I think these are very good rules in preserving robust political speech on the internet that takes place without much danger of the corruption of candidates

I am very interested in your reactions.

Originally posted to Adam B on Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 06:26 PM PST.

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