CommunityPam's House Blend

Unhinged S.F. Supervisor: regulate bloggers

I can’t believe what I’m reading. This legislation, “Regulation of Electioneering Communications,” is a clear indication that the power of blogs is scaring elected officials into hysterical reaction, even at the local level. And what do they plan to do with that information once you’re registered, hmm? What if you comment on S.F. politics but don’t live there — do you still have to go on the Master List?

From Personal Democracy Forum (via DKos):

Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.

Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.

The entire Board is set to vote on the measure on April 5th, 2005. I wonder if they’ll be forced to register their own blogs!

The legislation was written by Supervisor Sophie Maxwell.

Obviously, Ms. Maxwell needs to be told how lame-brained and dangerous this legislation is:

Sophie Maxwell
sophie.maxwell@sfgov.org
(415) 554-7670 – voice
(415) 554-7674 – fax

Also, note the DKos diaries The FEC Project and The FEC Project: Regulations Published, by acbonin, who is analyzing and planning a joint response to the proposed FEC regulations to govern political bloggers, paid ads on the internet, and attack our right to speak out on political issues free of regulation by these bozos.

The document we are preparing will urge the FEC to minimize the impact of regulations on our lives, to keep the focus on the flow of money in politics and, as with other areas of FEC regulation, on the regulated candidates, parties and PACs spending it, and not on the media sources receiving it. We also hope to provide them with factual background to understand the impact of certain regulations on current practices, such as the role of anonymity and pseudonymity online. [For instance, if a paid campaign staffer posts an anonymous comment on a blog, does she have to disclose that she works for the campaign?]

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding