We remain unfettered by the chains of government regulation, the shackles that would limit our free discourse and gag our brilliant and articulate rhetoric. Oh, OK, I'll cut through the mess. Friday night the Federal Election Commission agreed that bloggers and online activists will not be regulated in their political activities.
According to an article in The Washington Post, the only regulation agreed on at this point is that candidates for federal office must pay for internet ads with money regulated by federal campaign law. The biggest surprise is that the Republicans and Democrats were in agreement.
Get the rest on the flip side
What does this mean for NC bloggers? Pretty much, that we can speak out for or against any candidate without our support being considered a "paid" endorsement. That would have been a nightmare. While I get quite a few visitors to my personal blog, not all of them are in North Carolina where my "endorsement" of a candidate would make any difference. (Trust me, I'm not delusional....my support carries absolutely NO influence!)
If the FEC had decided to regulate blogger speech, the problem would be trying to put a price on something that can't be measured for the majority of smaller blogs. This could mean that a candidate - any candidate I spoke out for might have to claim an inkind donation. In other words, they would be putting a price on something that is literally worthless.....and that would be a melluvahess.
Chalk one up for bloggers or for free speech or both. Everyone wins with this ruling.