As bloggers from the right and left, we don't often agree on much. But when it comes to free speech online, we couldn't agree more.Personally, I would rather repeal the entire McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance law and (all similar laws) and simply let people decide for themselves what to think. I don't believe money really has such an impact on elections, even in traditional media, as we are generally led to believe.
For those members committed to extending the BCRA rules and regulations to the Internet, it would be preferable to pass no bill at all rather than H.R. 4194, which would only chill free speech and technological growth, and instead wait for the Federal Election Commission to complete its current rulemaking process.
Better still would be to pass H.R. 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act. H.R. 1606 would preserve the status quo which governed the 2004 election cycle, during which none of the fears now trumpeted by H.R. 4194's supporters came to pass.
In sum, the Internet now fulfills through technology what the rest of campaign finance reform attempts via law - and this occurred under the legal regime which H.R. 1606 seeks to codify. We urge you to proceed cautiously, and steer clear of additional restrictions like H.R. 4194 until real corruption becomes evident.
But since such a repeal is probably not politically possible in the near future, at least we should prevent Congress from extending the restrictions on free speech to the one internet.
(Cross posted on Love America First)