It’s not just the FEC bloggers need to worry about. Local governments will likely try to get into the act, as this ridiculous San Francisco effort proves.
Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance (PDF) that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.
Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.
The entire Board is set to vote on the measure on April 5th, 2005. I wonder if they’ll be forced to register their own blogs!
The legislation was written by Supervisor Sophie Maxwell. If this ordinance passes, I will be the first to flash Sophie Maxwell and San Francisco a big middle finger. But if we make enough noise, it may not come down to that.
Sophie MaxwellNote, this won’t be the last such effort. But the more pain we inflict, the less likely other governments will be to try to regulate free speech on the Internet.
(415) 554-7670 – voice
(415) 554-7674 – fax
Whether this ordinance is a poorly worded honest mistake, or whether its a deliberate attack on citizen media, it cannot be allowed to stand. [Daily Kos]
This noxious attack on freedom of speech deserves a loud and unmistakable Fuck You in response.