Thursday, March 03, 2005

You Can Have My Blog When You Pry The Keyboard Out of My Cold, Dead Hands!

Thanks for the Memory to Ace of Spades.

You may or may not be aware of the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. It was a law that was SUPPOSED to help clean up our electoral process by eliminating "soft" money, slush funds, etc. What it has done instead is open up a whole slew of new ways for special interests to influence campaigns. Many have argued it infringes on First Amendment freedom of speech. Until now, I didn't know enough about those arguments to agree or disagree. That just changed.

bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines.

Apparently a federal judge has ruled that such activity constitutes a contribution to a campaign by the Blogger.

Rubbish.

I do not get paid to blog. I do not pay for the use of the server where my blog is located. I am not contributing anything more than my time and my "voice". The only difference between what I do when I blog about a candidate I support and what I do when I sit at a phone bank and make calls is the medium of communication. Are we then to suppose that next it will be a violation of McCain-Feingold to put a Bush or Kerry sign in our yard? Please.

I'll admit it took a personal touch to get me involved in this issue, but not because I was previously unwilling -- just uninformed.

This isn't a conservative vs. liberal issue. This should matter to you whether you're to the left or the right, red state or blue. This is about an attempt by a small-minded judge to curtail an exciting new avenue for citizen participation in the democratic process.

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