Act Now to Keep This Post and Your Comments On It Legal!

Act Now to Keep This Post and Your Comments On It Legal!

January 13, 2015

Ronald Reagan famously warned America: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”

Because it is the tendency of government to lurch toward tyranny, Americans should not be surprised, but must be very alarmed, that the FEC is on the verge of creating a new series of rules regarding political speech on the internet that would destroy our cherished First Amendment protections.

The FEC last visited online political commentary in 2006 when it unanimously approved the rules we live under today. These rules provide for a free and vibrant internet where ideas can be exchanged without concern for some distant Washington bureaucrat monitoring citizens’ social media comments.  Those rules are narrow and limited as Lee Goodman, member of the FEC, explains:

“The commission retained jurisdiction over two limited areas: political campaigns, parties and political-action committees that post communications on the Internet; and anyone else who posts express electoral advocacy online for an advertising fee—like a paid advertisement placed on television or in a newspaper.”

But now those narrow 2006 FEC rules are threatening to get a lot wider.  FEC Chairwoman Ann Ravel is looking to expand the FEC’s authority to regulate online free speech, saying:

“Some of my colleagues seem to believe that the same political message that would require disclosure if run on television should be categorically exempt from the same requirements when placed on the Internet alone [free]. As a matter of policy, this simply does not make sense.”

Ann Ravel of the FEC thinks free speech doesn’t make sense.  We believe efforts to regulate bloggers, commenters, and YouTube videos is a crazy intrusion into Americans’ privacy, tramples their rights, and would turn the FEC in an overbearing instrument of government tyranny.

Fortunately, there is still time to submit public comments on the FEC’s willingness to wade into this issue.  But the deadline for public comments is January 15.  Be sure to let the FEC know where you stand.  Click here to submit comments directly to the FEC as they decide how many rights you still have.

It's Time for an American Encore