Yet Another Reason

To not vote for the Republican party (or the Democrats, for that matter):

Online political expression should not be exempt from campaign finance law, the House decided Wednesday as lawmakers warned that the Internet has opened up a new loophole for uncontrolled spending on elections.

The House voted 225-182 for a bill that would have excluded blogs, e-mails and other Internet communications from regulation by the Federal Election Commission. That was 47 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed under a procedure that limited debate time and allowed no amendments.

The vote in effect clears the way for the FEC to move ahead with court-mandated rule-making to govern political speech and campaign spending on the Internet.

The roll call of the vote can be found here, and you can see whether your Representative failed you. Alan Mollahan, my representative, voted against it, while Nick Rahall and Shelley Moore Capito voted for the bill. At any rate, after a closer look at the roll call vote, a clearer portrait of my predicament as a voter could not be painted.

179 Republicans voted for the bill, 38 voted against. 46 Democrats voted vor the bill, 143 voted against. The bill was vigorously opposed by Chris Shays, a moderate, and received the majority of its support from the more conservative members of the Republican caucus. The majority of Democrats opposed it.

Once again, on an issue I really care about, the only support I can find is among the more conservative wing of the caucus- the group who also gives me all the agita over their social votes. The moderates and the Democrats, who I generally agree with on social isses- nowhere to be found, or overtly opposing the bill. This is not unlike last week, when Tom Coburn and a small gang of Senators attempted, and failed, to remove a bunch of pork (the Don Young ‘Road to Nowhere’ and other projects) from spending bills and have it either removed or applied to the Katrina relief packages. That failed (91-9, if I rememb er correctly), with the only support coming the firebreathing social cons).

And, as is usually the case on issues that matter to me, the Democrats are even worse. In this current system, I literally have the worst of both worlds on any issue that matters to me. At least I can take solace in that a majority of the House supported this bill, leading the way to future bills with a chance of passing.

Red State and Kos discuss. The Instapundit has a link round-up.

More here from Adam B. at the Daily Kos and Rep. Marsha Blackburn at Red State.






23 replies
  1. 1
    Ben says:

    That is really pathetic… it’s amazing how many in Congress just don’t “get it”. Meanwhile, Dobson, Robertson and Sheldon continue to operate their “religious” PAC’s err, churches tax exempt and without interference from campaign finance laws.

  2. 2
    OCSteve says:

    So how do we get a third party off the ground that actually has a shot? Not snark – I’m serious as hell. Give me a middle ground party and I’ll vote for them, raise money, ring doorbells, etc.

  3. 3
    Paul L. says:

    Ben Says:

    That is really pathetic… it’s amazing how many in Congress just don’t “get it”. Meanwhile, Dobson, Robertson and Sheldon continue to operate their “religious” PAC’s err, churches tax exempt and without interference from campaign finance laws.

    Ben, I am surprise you only mention “religious” tax exempt Institutes that are involved in politics. Are you a anti-religious bigot?
    What about Tax exempt Unions, the NAACP, the NEA, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Handgun Control Inc) or John McCain’s Reform Institute?

  4. 4
    Dave Straub says:

    I’m pleased to see that my rep — one of those confounding social conservatives with whom I nearly always disagree — voted the right way.

  5. 5
    Steve S says:

    I’m still uncertain how I feel on that one.

    After the South Dakota Senate race, where the Republicans paid bloggers to write smears against Daschle, it’s not clear to me that blogs should be totally exempt.

    I think it would be incumbent to find out why these people opposed the bill… and perhaps write a new version which dealt with some fears.

  6. 6
    Veeshir says:

    After the South Dakota Senate race, where the Republicans paid bloggers to write smears against Daschle, it’s not clear to me that blogs should be totally exempt.

    I don’t mean to attack you, but I would be just as unhappy if you were talking about moveon.org.

    Political speech should be the most free.
    Also, muzzling average people while allowing the media free reign is downright un-American.
    The media chooses candidates. All you have to do is read the Washington Post. They have had many glowing tributes to Kaine in the Va race. The Wash Times has done the same for Kilgore (not as much as the Post, and not as ineptly. The Wash Post used Kaine’s desire to raise taxes as a selling point).

    There should be no limits on political speech. Money is speech today. And to muzzle either Kos or Right Wing News is just not right.

    The biggest problem inherent in the above, highlighted, comment, is the implication that people can’t figure things out for themselves.
    You called them ‘smears’, but are they smears if they’re true? That’s what people were able to decide for themselves and it appears that the good people of SDak thought they were the truth.
    As did I.

  7. 7
    cd6 says:

    Here’s one reason I am indifferent to this

    Other than this blog, there are very few truly middle of the road blogs. Instead, the blogosphere is dominated by “all left all the time” or vice versa.

    RedState is a blog for example that I could live without giving money to its preferred candidates. They generally think Bush can do no wrong, and were more disgusted with reports of the NYT looking into Roberts’ children than they were with reports of secret prisons and torture. The last thing I want is a bunch of blogs like them dumping money into some ultra conservative president candidate like Coburn.

    However, this obviously means my side can’t dump money into their candidates. That’s fine too, really. Chances are good the majority of DKos would shoot cash off to some guy farther to the left than I am.

    Internet donations would largely go to the wingnut bases. America would be better off if run by the middle. I am all for free speech but generally don’t like politicians and don’t feel that bad about limiting campaign finance.

  8. 8
    Larry says:

    179 Republicans voted for the bill, 38 voted against. 46 Democrats voted for the bill, 143 voted against

    John,

    Did you copy those numbers right?

    179 – 38 to silence you
    143 – 46 for your right to speak

    the Democrats are even worse

    If so, WTF are you talking about? Please explain.

  9. 9
    TallDave says:

    Larry,

    Read John’s post again. The bill EXCLUDES bloggers from regulation.

  10. 10
    TallDave says:

    Once again, on an issue I really care about, the only support I can find is among the more conservative wing of the caucus- the group who also gives me all the agita over their social votes.

    This drives me crazy too.

    I really don’t understand why the Dems, as a minority party seeking to regain the majority, are so quick to spit on libertarians this way. Shouldn’t they be trying to woo us?

  11. 11
    Steve says:

    It seems to me that most Democrats don’t really understand what’s at stake here, and they believe the Internet will end up being used as a vehicle for traditionally Republican sources of funding to get soft money into the political process.

    I don’t think they truly get the Internet, and my view is that we should regulate known abuses, not hypothetical ones.

  12. 12
    demimondian says:

    they believe the Internet will end up being used as a vehicle for traditionally Republican sources of funding to get soft money into the political process.

    They’re right about the future, and wrong about the impact. The value of the onanosphere lies in how cheap it is to get your opinions into wide circulation, which favors democracy.

  13. 13
    ChristieS says:

    What I found interesting is that Congressman John Conyers voted FOR it and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter voted AGAINST it. Both are frequent diarists on DKos. Hmmm…

  14. 14
    Mike in SLO says:

    I’m with OCSteve on this. Both parties ignore the vast middle. How in the hell do we get a viable centrist party–or will it always be a pipe dream because of the entrenchment of the established parties?

  15. 15
    Ben says:

    PaulL,
    Personally, I don’t think any organization should be tax exempt… but “religious” institutions are abusing the laws the to the greatest degree. The fact that churches are tax exempt is a huge advantage for Repubs… If the JF’s want to be politcally active, then they should pay taxes and follow the campaign finance rules. Dobson vetting the SCOTUS nominees makes any other argument bullshit.

  16. 16
    Darrell says:

    If the JF’s want to be politcally active

    Ah yes, the ever so tolerant left. So to be consistent, you also advocate the taxing of NOW, NARAL, and the NAACP too? since according to your ‘logic’, if tax exempt groups want to be politically active, they should pay taxes, right? that is right, isn’t it Ben?

  17. 17
    Steve S says:

    So to be consistent, you also advocate the taxing of NOW, NARAL, and the NAACP too? since according to your ‘logic’, if tax exempt groups want to be politically active, they should pay taxes, right?

    http://philanthropy.com/free/u.....102901.htm

    The title is…
    “IRS Investigates NAACP Over Election-Related Activities”

    It appears Ben is asking you to be consistent Darrell.

  18. 18
    StupidityRules says:

    You could still set up a blog outside of the US and it would be as accessable as if it still was set up in the US. Since the FEC can’t touch it what are they going to do? Censor it?

    Big hole.

  19. 19
    Stormy70 says:

    The NRA just set up a news service to get around the stupid, anti-American Campaign Finance laws. There should be no limit on Political speech, period. Ever! If I want to give my money to a group advocting for alien spaceship hailing, then I should be able to, without the Gorram Governemnt interfering!

    I hate traffic. Is it so hard to drive home?! Going to watch Survivor and CSI. I hope it is violent tonight. :(

  20. 20
    Ben says:

    Stormy,
    I agree, there should never be a limit on political speech… PAC’s like NRA (and that’s what it is) shouldn’t be operated tax free.

    Darrell,
    Go screw yourself… you are, by far, the worst poster on this site. Read my posts before you snark. I said that NO organization should be tax exempt! BTW, the “lefty” stuff is just childish. I’m a Republican (but a real one, not a JF) so the lefty crap doesn’t fit.

  21. 21
    Darrell says:

    Darrell,
    Go screw yourself… you are, by far, the worst poster on this site. Read my posts before you snark. I said that NO organization should be tax exempt! BTW, the “lefty” stuff is just childish. I’m a Republican (but a real one, not a JF) so the lefty crap doesn’t fit.

    Where on this thread did I mention anything about “lefty” you delusional loon? Oh that’s right, I didn’t.. you simply made it up. And you’re fucking lying through your teeth claiming to be a Republican while SINGLING OUT churches with remarks like this

    The fact that churches are tax exempt is a huge advantage for Repubs… If the JF’s want to be politcally active, then they should pay taxes and follow the campaign finance rules…

    without mentioning a single word about the tax exempt Dem special interest groups who are even more influential. Republican my ass.

  22. 22
    Ben says:

    Darrell,
    You lying sack of shit… your quote “Ah yes, the ever so tolerant left”. You are truly a dickless wonder. Why don’t you axe somebody a question on another website like LGF or evangelical outpost.

  23. 23
    M. Scott Eiland says:

    So, the Republicans voted almost 5-1 in favor of the position you favored, and the Democrats voted more than 3 to 1 against it (with almost enough Democrats to provide the one-third plus one margin needed to defeat the bill even if all 435 members had been there, which they weren’t).

    So, why exactly are the Republicans stupid again? If there had been a normal majority requirement to pass the bill, it would have passed easily. Given that only 407 House members were present and voting, every single Republican present (along with the 46 Democrats who voted for it) could have voted for the bill and it still wouldn’t have passed. I can appreciate the impulse to be even-handed, John, but the math doesn’t work here.

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