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The Expertise of the Regulatory State: The FEC and Internet Rules (CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM)
Red State ^ | March 23, 2006 | Brad Smith

Posted on 03/23/2006 11:31:44 PM PST by Lancey Howard

(Go to the link for the first half of this excellent and informative column for some the background info. Presented below is the best part, and I believe this provides a pretty good summary of what Jim, and hopefully everybody else, is concerned about. This is deadly serious business.)

_____________________________________________________

In any case, on the question of internet regulation, the FEC in fact brought its expertise to bear, and determined that it would not be wise to apply traditional regulation to the internet - indeed, as outlined here, it determined that the internet did not pose a threat or political corruption, and so exempted much of the web from regulation. The result was that Representatives Shays and Meehan sued, with the support of Senators McCain and Feingold, to force the FEC to regulate the internet. And won.

So here is where we are. The FEC, appointed for its expertise in the area, has determined that the internet does not pose a threat of corruption, and exempted it from much of the McCain-Feingold law's coverage. We have no idea if the President, charged with executing the law, agrees with his FEC appointees, because he has not said. Moreover, even if he did say, he cannot legally bend the FEC commissioners to his will, nor remove them for not following his policies, so he cannot be accountable. On the Congressional side, Senators McCain and Feingold, and their House counterparts, Representatives Shays and Meehan, lacking any meaningful way to exert legislative oversight (and probably lacking a majority to do so), decided to invoke the third branch, and so went to courts and sued. A judge, not appointed for her expertise in campaign finance or the internet, held that the FEC was mistaken.

With the FEC now under Court order to act, Congress as a whole seems lost as to what to do. A majority of the House voted to preserve the FEC's original regulatory exemption by writing it into the statute - but because the bill was brought up under special rules, it needed a 2/3rds vote to pass, which it did not get. Last week, the House simply punted on the issue. It seems fairly clear that the question of the internet exemption is exactly the type of issue that Congress intentionally left to the expertise of the Commission - expertise then ignored by Federal District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, at the behest of four members of Congress, represented by a bunch of foundation funded lawyers who work for "public interest groups" with no members.

This is the state of the modern regulatory state. It seems a far cry from the separation of powers and popular accountability envisioned in the Federalist papers.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 109th; fec; mccain

1 posted on 03/23/2006 11:31:49 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Jim Robinson

ping


2 posted on 03/23/2006 11:32:33 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard
Yep. Since when does a judge get to order an executive branch agency around? No one seems to be interested in pursuing that question.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

3 posted on 03/23/2006 11:34:09 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Lancey Howard
With the FEC now under Court order to act, Congress as a whole seems lost as to what to do. A majority of the House voted to preserve the FEC's original regulatory exemption by writing it into the statute - but because the bill was brought up under special rules, it needed a 2/3rds vote to pass, which it did not get. Last week, the House simply punted on the issue.

Isn't that grand?

4 posted on 03/23/2006 11:36:43 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard
Never look to the government to restore your rights. If it was up to government, we would soon have no means of redress.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

5 posted on 03/23/2006 11:38:16 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Lancey Howard
A judge, not appointed for her expertise in campaign finance or the internet, held that the FEC was mistaken.

Men (and women) in black.
I cannot begin to express my disgust with the lot of them. The scumbags.

THANK YOU Sandra Day O'Connor, you.....

6 posted on 03/23/2006 11:38:55 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

bttt


7 posted on 03/23/2006 11:39:13 PM PST by nopardons
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To: Lancey Howard

Alright, boys and girls, get your torches soaked and your pitchforks sharpened.


8 posted on 03/23/2006 11:39:30 PM PST by leadpenny
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To: Lancey Howard
You would think the judge would defer to the regulator's interpretation of the law. But let's not get sidetracked here since as we all know, its unconstitutional. If those in power can't read the plain English of the First Amendment, then they don't really understand the thrust of the Constitution is to limit government's appetite to curb fundamental rights like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and other innumerable rights. Sad to say, these rights have been curbed more sharply under a Republican than under a Democratic Administration.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

9 posted on 03/23/2006 11:43:09 PM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Lancey Howard

In the hands of the FEC. Now that is comforting. NOT!! The FEC is another arm of the liberals.


10 posted on 03/23/2006 11:47:34 PM PST by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: Lancey Howard
It's definitely time for the people to get involved up close and personal. Every FReeper and reader of these pages should call their reps and senators tomorrow. Also wouldn't hurt to flood the whitehouse. Swamp their phone lines and faxes. Flood them with email and snail mail. Visit their offices and campout on their doorsteps. Call the talkshows. Write letters to the editors. Post on bulletin boards and forums (oops). Grab your pitchforks and march in the streets. Bring your torches and prepare for an all night vigil. Hang and burn dummies in effigy*. Well, best hold off on that last part, but you get the idea. They must get a taste of our outrage!

* Main Entry: ef·fi·gy
Pronunciation: 'e-f&-jE
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -gies
Etymology: Middle French effigie, from Latin effigies, from effingere to form, from ex- + fingere to shape -- more at
DOUGH
: an image or representation especially of a person; especially : a crude figure representing a hated person - in effigy : publicly in the form of an effigy (the tyrant was burned in effigy)

11 posted on 03/23/2006 11:49:05 PM PST by Jim Robinson
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To: goldstategop

From this issue and several others, it appears as if the other 2 branches of the Government are just there to determine what to send on to the courts.

The will of the people has been replaced by the will of an appointed Judge, an elevated Lawyer.


12 posted on 03/23/2006 11:52:38 PM PST by DakotaRed
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To: Jim Robinson

Bump. Keep this post for later action in the daylight.


13 posted on 03/23/2006 11:54:29 PM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: goldstategop
Since when does a judge get to order an executive branch agency around?

Probably since around 1789, when Congress passed the Judiciary Act, or 1803, when Marbury v. Madison was decided, at least with respect to ministerial actions of executive branch officials.

In any event, the FEC isn't really an executive branch agency - it's one of those independent, quasi-executive, quasi-legislative "administrative" agencies whose decisions have been somewhat reviewable by a court under the Administrative Procedure Act since 1946.

The Founders probably didn't envision that so much "law" in the guise of regulations would be made by unelected bureaucracies like the FEC, instead of Congress.
14 posted on 03/23/2006 11:56:38 PM PST by conservative in nyc
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To: taxesareforever
Huh? The FEC wanted to leave the internet alone. So the scumbags McCain, Feingold, Shays, and Meehan went and SUED. And won!

On the Congressional side, Senators McCain and Feingold, and their House counterparts, Representatives Shays and Meehan, lacking any meaningful way to exert legislative oversight (and probably lacking a majority to do so), decided to invoke the third branch, and so went to courts and sued. A judge, not appointed for her expertise in campaign finance or the internet, held that the FEC was mistaken.

15 posted on 03/23/2006 11:56:56 PM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: AmericaUnite

Oops. I almost forgot (slams forehead with palm). Tomorrow is Friday. Sadly, the hallowed halls of congress will be filled only with empty echos and ghostly shadows.


16 posted on 03/24/2006 12:00:18 AM PST by Jim Robinson
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To: Jim Robinson
the hallowed halls of congress will be filled only with empty echos and ghostly shadows.

If only it was like that 365 days a year.

17 posted on 03/24/2006 12:01:50 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Lancey Howard

Good point.


18 posted on 03/24/2006 12:02:56 AM PST by Jim Robinson
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To: AmericaUnite
Keep this post for later action in the daylight.

I think "daylight" ends at 12 noon tomorrow. (Hopefully that's PST.)

19 posted on 03/24/2006 12:04:47 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Jim Robinson

Okay, Monday better yet. More time to gather thoughts.


20 posted on 03/24/2006 12:04:50 AM PST by AmericaUnite
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To: taxesareforever; PhilDragoo; potlatch; ntnychik; dixiechick2000; Victoria Delsoul


21 posted on 03/24/2006 12:08:18 AM PST by devolve ( Reload/Refresh this updated new Slick Willie graphic)
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To: Lancey Howard

Doesn't change the fact that the FEC hits conservatives more than liberals.


22 posted on 03/24/2006 12:13:50 AM PST by taxesareforever (Government is running amuck)
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To: devolve

That's funny!


23 posted on 03/24/2006 12:15:09 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Jim Robinson

Bump, BTTT, Good Night and all that stuff.....

We're with ya, Jim.


24 posted on 03/24/2006 12:23:34 AM PST by Bradís Gramma
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To: Lancey Howard



25 posted on 03/24/2006 12:25:58 AM PST by devolve ( Reload/Refresh this updated new Slick Willie graphic)
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To: Lancey Howard

bookmarked for morning


26 posted on 03/24/2006 2:20:32 AM PST by AmeriBrit (A must see: http://www.iraqitruthproject.com/flash2.html)
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To: Lancey Howard

Bump for the morning crew.


27 posted on 03/24/2006 7:57:01 AM PST by Lancey Howard
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To: Jim Robinson

Have you considered that it just might take somthing like this to spark the fire that finally either removes the present power structure, or leads to drastic yet orderly change?

I have pointed out to friends and family for years the following 3 questions over and over again...they can always answer the first two and they always answer them the same.

Its the last question that they are afraid to answer...

1. Over the last 25 years has government grown larger and more intrusive OR smaller and less intrusive into the private lives and rights of the individual?

2. Given that you agree that it has grown larger and more intrusive, do you think the pace of that growth will: diminish, stay steady, or grow?

3. Given that you agree it will stay steady or grow, at what point will you draw your line in the sand and say enough is enough?

Nobody wants to answer the last of the three questions. Nobody knows what their line in the sand is.

Whats your line in the sand Jim?


28 posted on 03/24/2006 8:41:23 AM PST by antaresequity (PUSH 1 FOR ENGLISH - PUSH 2 TO BE DEPORTED)
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To: devolve

HA!

LOLOL!

That sketch of Ruthie always makes me laugh. ;o)


29 posted on 03/24/2006 10:19:26 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (There ought to be one day-- just one-- when there is open season on senators. ~~ Will Rogers)
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