Brad Smith and the Blogosphere

Friday, March 04, 2005

Brad Smith and the Blogosphere

Brad Smith is the Chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He doesn't much like regulation of campaign finance, and his comments in an interview the other day have much of the blogosphere in a frenzy of righteous indignation. He suggested that political bloggers could "have the sky fall on them" in the FEC's upcoming process of deciding how to apply campaign finance laws to expenditures on the Internet. It's been mostly the rightist blogs that have been sounding the alarm, but Atrios and other liberals have been concerned, too.

I happen to know something about campaign finance law, and I think Chairman Smith is blowing smoke. But he did set off an interesting discussion among the cognoscenti at Rick Hasen's Election Law listserv. If you'd like a less hysterical explanation than you'll get from half-informed bloggers of what the fuss is about, check out Prof. Hasen's post on the subject, which links to the listerv thread as well (Rick may be a blogger, but he's a lot more than half-informed, being a co-author of one of the standard legal coursebooks on election law).

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