blogs not regulated by FEC

It seems that since blogs really took off after the 2004 presidential election, political & legal junkies have been talking about whether this form of “free advertising” should be regulated by the Federal Election Commission.

See, the issue is that blogs and other social media content like YouTube videos could fall into the category of being a “political committee.” And that means Uncle Sam would put them in the same boat (so to speak) as just like the Swift Boat Vets or — and provide guidance on what political bloggers can and can’t do online.

An Associated Press article says the verdict is in: blogs are more like media than political committees. They won’t be regulated:

 “While the complaint asserts that DailyKos advocates for the election of Democrats for federal office, the commission has repeatedly stated that an entity that would otherwise qualify for the media exemption does not lose its eligibility because it features news or commentary lacking objectivity or expressly advocates in its editorial the election or defeat of a federal candidate,” the FEC said.

What does this mean? Well, a whole heck of a lot actually. Bloggers can become third party voices – whether on their own accord or as secretly hired mouthpieces – during the election. If bloggers are indeed opinion leaders, then the candidate with the biggest and best blog echo could find some success through this.

What an interesting primary season this will be …

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