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March 13, 2005

I Think Perry Misses a Point.

Perry over at Samizdata is rightly up in arms over the implications of a recent ruling under the McCain/Feingold Act. I don’t want to put the kibosh on his money making plans (and they seem both useful and likely to make a profit) but there is an easier way to make this absurdity go away.

I’ll admit that I may be a little off in my analysis but here’s what I think is the situation. The interpretation of the law is now so extreme that a blog simply linking to a campaign site is seen as support for that campaign, and thus that that link must be accounted for in the electoral expenditure of that campaign. There are stil questions about whether the valuation is at what it cost the campaign (sometimes nothing but I’d happily get paid to do so), or how much it benefits the campaign. OK, fine and dandy (well, not fine and dandy, obviously, but that’s the situation as I understand it).

Is there anything else we know about US campaign finance laws? Yes, foreigners may not contribute, foreign money may not be used. Only funds and resources raised from US citizens and groups may be used. Yet a link from a blog is counted as such funds and resources....see where I’m going?

If I (or Samizdata, which would make more of a point) were to link to a US campaign site, that would be a contribution from a foreign (er or organisation) to that campaign, and the campaign would either have to return the donation or recuse itself from the campaign, or get fined by the FEC. Something of a win win there then. If a link has a monetary value then the return of the donation would be a link in return...so traffic coming back to the blogger. The other two alternatives are simply too absurd for even US law to contemplate, so the rules would be overturned. But if not, or in the process of doing so, certain campaigns get dragged through the mud because some idle foreigner linked to a site, well, where is the downside in that?

Can anyone tell me whether Hillary has started her Exploratory Committee for ’08 yet?

March 13, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink


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British blogger Tim Worstall has spotted an opportunity to committ extortion. It's called campaign finance reform. United States law prohibits political candidates from accepting foreign monetary contributions, requiring that they either return those d... [Read More]

Tracked on Mar 15, 2005 5:45:02 AM