Internet Covered by Campaign Finance Laws
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
But later this week, these new-style political players might still find themselves dragged into an old-fashioned fight on Capital Hill. NPR's Peter Overby reports.
PETER OVERBY: Democratic commissioner Ellen Weintraub.
ELLEN WEINTRAUB: The Internet really is a special case in politics. We have yet to begin to tap its potential, and this agency should not get in its way.
OVERBY: Conservative Allison Hayward writes at SkepticsEye.com.
ALLISON HAYWARD: I'm pleased. I think that there may be cases at the edges where we're not quite sure how certain activity will be treated, but overall I think it gives bloggers the protection they need while getting at some of the paid advertising issues that other people were concerned about.
OVERBY: Lawyer Adam Bonin represents three progressive bloggers: Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, of the Daily Kos, Duncan Black, of Atrios, and Matt Stoller, of MyDD.
ADAM BONIN: It levels the difference between the rich and poor, gives everybody a voice, and allows all citizens an opportunity influence the process.
OVERBY: Republican commissioner Hans von Spakovsky voted for the regulation, but he said Congress should go further.
HANS VON SPAKOVSKY: I urge Congress to act. To pass the Henserling Bill, HR 1606, to overturn the court decision and to basically ratify the prior regulation issued by the FEC.
OVERBY: Fred Wertheimer is a long-time advocate for tighter controls on political money. He says that under the new rules, state political parties will become conduits for new streams of cash.
FRED WERTHEIMER: I find it amazing that, with the country deeply concerned about the corruption scandals in Washington, that members of the House would be thinking about legislation whose only purpose now is to allow huge corrupting contributions to be used by political parties and federal candidates.
OVERBY: Peter Overby, NPR News, Washington.
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