Blogger alert -- McCain Feingold is coming for you
Call it Pewgate -- call it blog-gate -- it all boils down to restricting our rights to be the pamphleteers of the 21st Century. Bloggers beware -- McCain Feingold is coming after you, with the help of the kind folks at the Pew Charitable Trust (and, I might add, President Bush who signed this faulty legislation with the hope that he could have it both ways, political appeal that would then be overruled by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for him -- and us -- this was an unwise decision.
Richard Poe, writing in today's
FrontPageMagazine.com gives us the scary and the gory details -- if you blog -- if you read blogs -- if there is a blog in your future -- you must be aware of this:
The blogosphere is under attack. For three weeks, bloggers have battled the Federal Election Commission, seeking exemption from campaign finance laws that would effectively regulate political speech on the Web. How did it come to this?
The answer lies in a burgeoning scandal which we might call Pewgate. Ryan Sager of the New York Post broke this extraordinary story on March 17. He learned that the McCain-Feingold Act the law which empowers the FEC to muzzle bloggers was pushed through Congress by fraud.
. . . The McCain-Feingold Act of 2002 gave federal judges and FEC officials the right to determine who can buy political ads on TV or radio during election season, and what they may say in those ads.
On September 18, 2004, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered the FEC to extend McCain-Feingold's censorship power over the Internet.
Here's how the Pew Charitable Trust got into the act:
"The idea was to create an impression that a mass movement was afoot - that everywhere they [politicians] looked, in academic institutions, in the business community, in religious groups, in ethnic groups, everywhere, people were talking about reform."
To this end, Pew and its allies dispensed $140 million between 1994 and 2004. . . Pewgate's tentacles reach even to the U.S. Supreme Court. Many of the legal arguments upon which the court based its December 10, 2003 decision to uphold McCain-Feingold derived from data now deemed to have been fraudulent data cooked up by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, a Soros-funded operation which received millions in Pewgate lucre.
Richard Poe is a New York Times-bestselling author and journalist. His latest book is Hillary's Secret War: The Clinton Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists.