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March 29, 2006

“Online Freedom” Update

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

UPDATE: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has issued its court-ordered regulations covering political expression on the Internet. Individuals have been largely exempted from the burdens of the campaign finance regulations. So far so good. But the Incumbent Protection Gang won’t be satisfied. They’ll almost certainly file suit claiming the FEC has not complied with the original court order. Meanwhile . . .

The House leadership has withdrawn the “Online Freedom of Speech Act” once again on the grounds that it is no longer needed. This is a mistake. If they would go ahead and pass this bill the whole matter would be settled. Otherwise, the entire issue is going back to the courts, which have already ruled that Congress originally intended for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act to apply fully to the Internet. Only Congress can inform the courts differently by passing the “Online Freedom of Speech Act.”

Here’s the bottom line: The only reason the FEC went easy on the Internet was because of public pressure. Remember, the original Internet regulations they drafted were harsh, not easy. Public pressure makes a difference! So now we need to apply pressure on Congress to go ahead and pass the “Online Freedom of Speech Act.” You can do so here.

Plus, if you reside in the districts of the House leaders, Hastert and Boehner, please call them and ask them to bring the “Online Freedom of Speech Act” to a vote. Our system will provide you with their phone numbers after you send them your electronic message.

This is an issue where public pressure has worked, and it can continue to work if we continue to apply it. Thanks for being a DC Downsizer.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.

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