Bloggers and Campaign Finance

This doesn’t necessarily have a lot to do with Georgia politics, but it is pertinent to bloggers out there, and involves some from Peach Pundit firsthand.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured an article on the debate of campaign finance regulations for bloggers.  The article mentioned the heavy involvement of bloggers such as Redstate.org, of which Erick is a Board Member, and Daily Kos, a popular liberal blog.

The conservative Redstate and liberal Daily Kos blogs have joined forces, saying the FEC must “tread lightly” for fear that new campaign reporting rules will chill free-spirited discourse online. With the number of Web sites multiplying rapidly, proponents argue that money can’t dominate the market as it might with broadcasts for a single candidate or point of view. But opponents argue that online political advertising is a potential force, and a blanket exemption for paid content on blogs would invite abuse as well as efforts to unravel campaign-finance limits.

There is no doubt that online advocacy is the future, and is already a key part in advocacy and political campaigning.  Just four years ago, many campaigns were still snubbing online efforts as being something that is just an extra, which doesn’t have any significant affects on the outcome of races or advocacy campaigns.  Today, online is the first and sometimes only component to campaigns, and Parties, Members, campaigns, associations, etc are spending millions of dollars to organize online efforts.

I think this brings up two main questions:

1.  How big of an impact is the internet and online campaigns having on political and advocacy campaigns?  Beyond blogs … what about fundraising, polling, gotv, direct email, etc?

2.  Since online organization/mobilization is the future of campaigning, you know that the government can’t stand not to be involved in something big and meaningful, with plenty of restrictions in that involvment, so what do you think the level of government involvement will be, and how much involvement is ok?  Will this bill be the extent of that involvement or will there be more to come; and, if this legislation isn’t successful, what are the chances it will come up again?

I’m sure Erick,  Clayton, and others, perhaps even some from Daily Kos, could probably weigh in, with a lot more helpful information.  I know it’s not Georgia politics, but it definitely affects all of us on this site, as well as many of you out there who have your own blogs, not to mention all of the campaign-related participants on this site. 

One comment

  1. Erick says:

    I have a lot to say on the subject, but no time today.

    Suffice it to say, I think that blogging will have an impact, but it will not be as substantial as some make it out to be.

    I also think everyone should support H.R. 1606, which would protect blogging from the regulatory arm of the FEC.

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