FEC complaint against Kos?

By krempasky Posted in | | Comments (12) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

John Bambanek claims that he filed a complaint at the FEC against Markos and the DailyKos. (via NRO) Let's be clear, not only is Bambanek woefully uninformed about the law (didn't we go over this for a whole freaking YEAR?) and its application on the internet, he's even less capable of grasping the concept (and frankly, value) of free speech on the web.

"Some will argue that this is a slippery slope that will snare all bloggers. First, most bloggers aren't organizations. Second, most bloggers are read by like 3 people and their posts are certainly not worth $1,000. Third, most bloggers don't exist for the primary purpose of electing certain people to federal office."

Some will? John, Some did - and damn well successfully, too. The point is not that Markos is effective at his stated goal, it's that the proper environment for politics online is that ANYONE can be effective. There is no inherent advantage of big money, there is no crowding effect that limits someone else's speech.

This complaint is a sorry attempt to use government institutions to silence opponents. I'm almost grateful Bambanek apparently slept from March 2005 through the Summer of 2006, because the stunt has zero chance of success.


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FEC complaint against Kos? 12 Comments (0 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

Hey, they want to see our talk shows policed...let them ponder their websites being policed as well.

I agree that this is a bit of a "stunt," and should fail. If, for some reason, it looks like it MIGHT succeed, we on the conservative side should stand up for Kos.

But, I've no problem with the left sweating a bit. They have no problem causing trouble for us.

For the moment, "screw 'em."

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

I think that the comments expressed on KOS should not be censored. It is a good place for the rest of us to see what our so-called"progressives" are really thinking.
Plus the tin-foil hat crowd needs a place to meet and organize--there is the freedom of assembly provision in the 1st ammendment.

...affect the appropriate FEC rulings?

Moe

PS: For the record, I'm with Mike on this, all the way down the line.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

This sounds right up his ally. Trent Lott too.

Or is it only the right they want to shut up?

he's even less capable of grasping the concept (and frankly, value) of free speech on the web.

I'm almost grateful Bambanek apparently slept from March 2005 through the Summer of 2006

rudeness which, IMO, weakens krepmasky's argument, it seems that Bambanek is cleverly using existing law/policies to put Kos on the spot.

Bambanek points out that Kos is arguably not a liberal dicussion site, but a Democratic Party advocate site. Evidence:

1) In several places on his blog, it specifically states that the site exists to elect Democrats.
2) DailyKos turned on Cindy Sheehan when she started attacking Democrats in general, and the Democrat Speaker of the House in specific.

What remedy does Bambanek demand? After reading krempasky's story, which talks of using "government institutions to silence opponents," I thought that Bambanek wanted Kos shut down, or for the FEC to impose some sort of controls on it.

Not according to his weblog (emphasis added):

Some will argue that this is a slippery slope that will snare all bloggers. First, most bloggers aren't organizations. Second, most bloggers are read by like 3 people and their posts are certainly not worth $1,000. Third, most bloggers don't exist for the primary purpose of electing certain people to federal office.

A better question to ask is can a political committee avoid campaign regulations by simply organizing in the form of a blog? Surely not.
...

That is all this complaint is about, that the DailyKos needs to file disclosure reports to the FEC, just like every other political committee out there.

In the end, the DailyKos is bound by its own statement that it exists to elect Democrats. They've made themselves subject to the FEC when they decided to be an arm of the Democratic Party.

How does the filing of disclosure reports prevent someone from speaking?

I'll admit, I haven't read the text of the actual FEC complaint. If Bambanek is calling for Kos to be shut down or censored, he's way out of line.

And, I'll admit that, even if Bambanek is only pushing for the FEC to declare Kos to be a partisan site, I hope the FEC turns his effort aside. The FEC shouldn't be in the business of inhibiting political speech---and excessive government oversight would be de facto inhibiting.

But, you have to admit, Bambanek is working within the system. Doesn't the FEC exist to make judgements on situations like this? Sounds like Bambanek has a strong enough case to at least take the matter to the FEC.

I'm also under no illusions that the Dems wouldn't do the same thing to us, if/when they have the chance. If they haven't already, it's just a matter of time.

And, in the spirit of schadenfreude, I don't mind if Kos has to twist in the wind a bit. He knew he was walking a fine line when he made his site into a de facto Democratic Party organ. If the facts are on his side, let him make and win his case before the FEC. (And, in the meantime, endure all the hassle of being investigated. Lawyers, discovery, the whole works. A hassle the Dems are more than willing to put us through, with no apparent concern for fairness or setting a bad precedent.)

In that sense, Bambanek's move is smart political tactics. Just like Kos' move against Fox News/CBC debates was a smart move on his part: it targeted an open weakness in his opponent, and expose him to minimal risk. Where Fox's weakness was its image as a conservative network, Kos' apparent weakness here is his overt partisanship. As the trial laywers would say, it's a matter that should be thoroughly investigated.

You need to get your licks in where you can, and we can get in some licks here. If you put your opponent on the defensive, you deny him the initiative. Kos has taken a few licks recently---a few more won't hurt us, and might hurt him. If he's tough enough, he'll deal with it. If he's not, or if his movement turns on him...

Regardless of what you think about Bambanek's claim, we shouldn't mischaracterize it as an attempt to "censor" Kos. Clarity in language---and fairness in the accusations we levy---is important.

With respect, I fear that some of the allegations being levied at Bambanek are a bit misleading, and overcharged with emotion.

My opinion...FWIW

V/R to all...
smagar

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

I wish I'd used this title: "The rudeness in this argument harms that argument."

My bust...will do pushup.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

No worries there. But what Bambanek's "complaint" ignores is the FiredUp advisory opinion which makes this a pretty clear case.

And if the FiredUp advisory opinion's contents and impact render what I've said here moot...well, OK then.

Thanks for your gracious response to my impolite initial title. I'm glad you have thick skin, but I shouldn't be putting you in a position where you need to use that skin.

Will do another pushup as penance...once the soreness in my elbows from the last one subsides.

"Who will stand/On either hand/And guard this bridge with me?" (Macaulay)

...this is a REALLY dangerous step.

It should tell you something that writers at NRO, Redstate, Free Republic (and others) are unanimous in their opposition to the filing by Bambanek. Of course, RedState and DailyKos worked together last year to drive the FEC ruling cited above...

If you start arguing now, based on spurious content/FAQ/whatever 'analysis', then you're going to run into real problems with any conservative site that moderates/edits/removes postings, or even one that simply has a majority of participants from one side or the other.

Plus, the assertion that DailyKos is a "de facto Democratic Party site" is just flat wrong. Consider that, when the imbroglio over Sheehan's independent candidacy flared up, site moderators stated that Sheehan would be welcome to "campaign" on DailyKos if she were running against Pelosi in the Democratic primary, but not if running as an Independent. I don't think that "party organs" go about opening doors for challengers to the party's leadership, eh?

This is a hole with no bottom.

[DISCLAIMER: I'm a political centrist who reads across the blogosphere...yes, I read DailyKos AND RedState, but don't often post to either.]

when the imbroglio over Sheehan's independent candidacy flared up, site moderators stated that Sheehan would be welcome to "campaign" on DailyKos if she were running against Pelosi in the Democratic primary, but not if running as an Independent.

She can't post UNLESS she is a Dem. They don't want her as an Independent? It's not a persons thoughts that are important over there, its party affiliation.

But being a site for Democrats doesn't make it an arm of the DNC or any particular campaign, no more than Red State's expressly Republican mission makes it an arm of the RNC or any particular campaign.

If they don't want to let Cindy Sheehan use their site to advertise her run against their Speaker of the House, then they should be able to do that without Big Government crashing in.

Hooray!

... going anywhere!

http://OsiSpeaks.com or http://OsiSpeaks.org

With malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see right.

 
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