Michael Cornfield of the Pew Internet & American Life Project notes an important new consultation on Internet campaigning:
The Federal Election Commission opens public comment for sixty days on Monday, April 4 regarding its plan to renovate the online space for national politics.
The FEC’s proposals include provisions addressing online advertising and blogging, both major forces in the 2004 race.
On advertising, the Commission asks:
should ‘‘general public political advertising’’ include Internet advertisements where the advertising space is provided in exchange for something of value other than a monetary payment, for example through an exchange of comparable advertising?
On blogging, the Commission notes that existing finance regulations already require campaigns to disclose payments made to bloggers in exchange for coverage.
The Commission does not therefore propose to change the disclaimer regulation in 11 CFR 110.11(a) to require bloggers to disclose payments from a candidate, a campaign, or a political committee. The Commission seeks comment on this approach. Could or should bloggers be required to disclose such payments? Could or should a blogger be required to disclose payments only if the blogger expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or solicits a contribution?