Bloggers exempt from political rules

Teh Federal Election Commission has clarified rules for political and campaign activity by exempting virtually all kinds of political speech on the Internet from the onerous rules that cover how campaign funds can be spent.

The rules, which surfaced last year, seemed to require onerous reporting by citizen bloggers if they even wrote about political candidates, and if they accepted campaign ads on their Web sites, it was worse. But occasionally government does the right thing.

Bloggers and their writing are much like the pamphleteers that were popular during the early days of the U.S. They are both citizen writers that generally derive little or no income from the activity. Imposing the same rules on bloggers that are required of professionally managed political campaigns made no sense administratively and even less sense in a free speech context.

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