Thursday, November 03, 2005

Will blogs be subject to campaign finance laws?

The Online Freedom of Speech Act has failed to pass the House of Representatives. The bill would have exempted websites and blogs such as this one from the Federal Election Campaign Finance Act of 1971.

The purpose and spirit of FECFA was to prevent wealthy people and corporations from excessesively influencing federal elections. The House Democrats that voted against this bill were worried that OFSA would allow a massive loophole in FECFA.

However, as the law currently stands, FECFA could be used as a legal club against anyone with a political website or blog. Would they really come after me for speaking my mind online?

Let's find out. I hearby announce that I have no intention of making an effort to comply with the Federal Election Campaign Finance Act of 1971 when it comes to posts and comments made on my personal blog. I shall repeat this announcement next year, an election year in which that law will become relevant. Come and arrest me. I could use the publicity.


  1. Sadly, this has come to pass. If you link to, say, my campaign website on your blog, you will have made a campaign contribution to my campaign, according to the law.

    I have an entry on my blog on this topic.

  2. OK. I have no intention of getting anyone else in trouble unless they want to be in trouble. I don't think linking to your blog would grt you in trouble, because anyone can do it without your knowledge or consent. Do I have to fill out a form or something to keep you clean? Is there a tangible way of dertimining the dollar value of a blog that maybe about 10 people read on a regular basis? Is the issue moot even if a FEC bureaucrat is reading this?