Blogosphere

Flap’s Blog is Remaining a BLOG

Captain Ed over at Captain’s Quarter’s has alerted Flap to the proceedings of this week’s FEC hearings regarding the blogosphere (from RedState.org):

While the FEC hearings this week covered a lot of ground – there are some questions remaining. Since I have a feeling that some of the reformers read RedState (if only to correct me) – I’ll just post them here and let them have at it.

  • How does one value a link? Larry Noble claimed that the FEC only applies a dollar figure to something that has “clear market value.” Well, except that isn’t entirely true. When a corporation spends $10 to help raise money for a candidate – the FEC values that contribution equal to the funds raised. So – if a link has any value at all – lets say that a corporation endorses a candidate (which they are allowed to do) and spends .15 to put a link to that candidate’s website on the company homepage – how would they determine the value of that expenditure? (keep in mind that printing an endorsement on a single sheet of paper constitutes an expenditure) Because if you can’t value it at .15 – you have to come up with SOME other amount.
  • On the question of incorporated bloggers – the reformers put forth that they should be treated as individuals. Does that mean they concede that bloggers who form an LLC are ipso facto only doing so for liability purposes? What if they receive revenue through that LLC? What if they receive money from consulting? Does “blogging” have to be the only activity? What about a Sub-S corporation?
  • When asked a question by Vice Chairman Toner, Trevor Potter added another condition to granting protections for incorporated bloggers – that they be “non profit.” Huh, say again?
  • Back in March, Trevor Potter insisted this rulemaking was only going to be about paid ads, and therefore wouldn’t affect bloggers. (blogads, anyone?) But in yesterday’s hearing, when asked by Commissioner Smith if he would promise not to sue if the FEC passed a rule regulating only paid ads. No such promise from Mr. Potter. Why not? Can’t we just stop with the suing to get your way? Why not go back to Congress to fix what you don’t like?
  • Speaking of Mr. Potter – why no apology to Brad Smith? After being asked why he accused Smith of spreading misinformation, he denied ever having done so. Of course, Potter wrote back in March – “Commissioner Smith’s interview does a good job at providing misinformation on the subject of the Internet and the FEC, as it was obviously intended to.”

And the fact that Jeralynn Merritt over at Talk Left declared yesterday: “As of yesterday, blogs are dead.”

Flap disagrees and is ready to fight for his blog’s right to freedom of speech without regualtion from the FEC and without a slight of hand such as a name change to an on-line magazine. How stupid!

But, tell this to:

Say hello to the Online Magazine Community. Others joining so far:

TalkLeft is joining the community. We are now “the online magazine for liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news.”

Come on Blogosphere!

Let’s FIGHT and NOT play games with the FEC!

Matt over at Blogs for Bush has this excellent piece:

I stand with the Captain on this. I also concur with La Shawn Barber

La Shawn pointed to this article (story “expired,” alternate version here) which clarifies this whole issue:

Web loggers, who pride themselves on freewheeling political activism, may soon face new federal rules on candidate endorsements, online fundraising and political ads – though bloggers who don’t take money from political groups would not be affected.

The FEC also is considering whether to require Web loggers, called bloggers, to disclose whether they get money from a campaign committee or a candidate and to reveal whether they are being paid to write about certain candidates or solicit contributions on their behalf. [Emphasis added]

Captain Ed expressed his disappointment with what is sure to be a growing trend of bloggers reclassifying themselves as “online magazines” to avoid this FEC nonsense:

Not Captain’s Quarters. I may describe myself in a variety of ways, including citizen journalist, free-lance writer, pundit at large — but foremost in this community, I am a blogger. CQ is a blog, and it will remain a blog. It will undoubtedly evolve over time, offer new concepts to the CQ community, change its look, but at its heart, Captain’s Quarters will be a blog.

B4B was, is, and always will be a blog. OnlineMagazinesForBush.com just won’t cut it. We’ve got nothing to hide. We have not taken money from a campaign—and don’t intend to. This FEC situation does not apply to us, or most of the bloggers who are sweating over this issue.

Flap Disclosure:

Flap like Matt will never nor has he ever accepted money from any candidate or campaign. Flap will not accept money nor has he for any dental product/procedure endorsements.

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