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FEC: Election Law Exempts Blogs

Blogs are media entities exempt from federal campaign finance laws, the Federal Election Commission ruled this week in two companion cases. In the first, the FEC rejected arguments that the popular political blog Daily Kos should be regulated as a political committee because it charges a fee to accept advertising while providing "a gift of free advertising and candidate media services" through blog entries that support candidates. The FEC determined that the blog "falls squarely within the media exemption" and is not subject to federal regulation.

In the second case, the FEC considered whether blogger Michael L. Grace made unreported expenditures when he leased space on a computer server in 2006 to create a blog that advocated the defeat of U.S. Rep. Mary Bono, R-Calif. It concluded that expenses relating to blogging "for the purpose of influencing a Federal election" are not subject to the campaign finance law.

Bottom line of the two cases, as stated at the Daily Kos: "Online grassroots political activity is protected under the law, and none of us should live under the threat of FEC sanction for our activities."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 6, 2007 at 05:57 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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