Blogging to be viewed by the FEC as an in-kind political donation?

· The Power of Many

Quoting from FEC May Regulate Blogging – by Michael Bassik at the Personal Democracy Forum blog:

Bloggers and online-only journalists might have to report their hyperlinks, articles, and postings as in-kind political contributions. This according to a CNET interview with Bradley Smith, one of the six FEC commissioners.

Talk of a potential rule change follows a Federal Court decision last year, which was discussed in detail on PDF last month.

Smith states:

The real question is: Would a link to a candidate’s page be a problem? If someone sets up a home page and links to their favorite politician, is that a contribution? This is a big deal, if someone has already contributed the legal maximum, or if they’re at the disclosure threshold and additional expenditures have to be disclosed under federal law.

Man, that’s crazy talk! How is this going to work? It seems like an insane can of worms. How do you value an in-kind contribution of this type? This could turn the political blogosphere into a litigation-happy zone. Stay tuned.