The gay politico blogosphere is all aflutter today with the news of the US House of Representatives vote on whether blogs and other forms of online political expression should be exempt from regulation by the Federal Election Commission -- an action made in response to a Federal court decision requiring the FEC to do so. A majority voted to exempt, but because of the rules in process on the bill, a two-thirds majority was required, and at 225 - 182, it fell short.
As one can imagine, boy wonder Robbie over at The Malcontent had plenty to say on the issue. Both GayPatriot and GayPatriotWest of (natch) GayPatriot weigh in as well.
As for my take.....I reluctantly support FEC regulation of blogs and online content.
The reason is simple; the blogosphere is completely out of control. I've done enough sleuthing and heard enough information to put together a very scary picture, which is that politicians are using blogs and bloggers, from John Aravosis to Jeff Gannon, as paid shills to do their dirty work. I'd had my suspicions for quite a while that people, particularly Democratic people, were shuffling money around the blogosphere....but Mike Rogers's snit fit over his exclusion from the cool kids' table really opened the floodgates of information, so to speak.
If the FEC calls and asks me for advice, which I rather hope they do, my answer will be simple; blogs and other forms of Internets media may accept any contribution from anyone provided they make the amount and the name of the person contributing public. I don't particularly care about the fact that Mike Rogers and John Aravosis were getting money to run their outing campaigns, but I do care about the fact that the people, politicians, and organizations who were giving it to them are allowed to remain anonymous.
As I said, I support this reluctantly, because it will be a hardship for fellow conserva-bloggers like Mal, GP, and Boi From Troy, as well as Worthy Adversaries like Pam of Pam's House Blend, to track and report their donations and ad revenue sources. However, the current system that we have, where politicians, politicos, and political groups can give money to prurient sites without a lick of reporting or cross-referencing, is untenable and must change. The American people deserve the right to know who is paying for their political media, regardless of what form in which it comes, and must realize that the same people who deplore the "politics of personal destruction" are quietly funding their own online hit squads.