California proposes political campaigns disclose payments to bloggers

It’s silly season again in California. The California Fair Political Practices Committee wants political campaigns to document and report payments to bloggers and social media users if the person doing it paid by a campaign. This could well include campaign workers tweeting about their candidate in personal accounts.

From the proposed regulation

When reporting these expenditures, whether the payment is made directly or through a third party, committees must include as much specificity as possible, including the amount of the payment, the payee, the name of the person providing services, and the name of the Internet publication, blog or website and the URL on which the communications are published.

This is so astonishingly stupid that it could only happen in California. It’s difficult to see what increased transparency would come from the mountains of paperwork this regulation would generate. It really seems an answer in search of a problem.

Does you suppose someone should tell the FPPC that Facebook status updates do not have URLs and thus can not be recorded?