ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Bloggers - We Will Regulate You!

H/T InstaPundit

I'm sure this will go over well...

San Francisco May Regulate Blogging

By Michael Bassik, 03/31/2005 - 3:15pm

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 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.
This reminds me of the scene in Trading places, where the two brothers are shouting "TURN THE MACHINES BACK ON!!! GET THE TRADERS BACK ON THE FLOOR!! GET BACK IN HERE!!!" They realize that they can't allow people to freely express their opinions.

It seems that this bill is targeted towards the Kossacks and the Ollie Willies' who are paid hacks but don't tell anyone. My thinking on this, consistent with campaign finance reform, is that the best way to fix the problem is disclosure and transparency. If DailyKos and Ollie had posted that they were paid by Dean campaign et al and put that link on their main page and any page on their domain, then everyone would understand their bias.

BTW, I'm not paid by any political candidate - although, I'd sure like it if I was!!! ;-)

Brian adds: What I don't get is how they define "local". A San Franciscan resident who logs into their blog from home? From the Office? From Denver International airport? This is just another example of the board of supervisors thinking they can control things that are outside of their control. Hell, so many blogs are anonymous, anyway. Who would sign up to allow for an audit of their blog? No thanks. St., it looks like we need to start following local issues in San Francisco (shudder). Maybe we can get a "please let us come and audit your website" email. That would be a fun response to write.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler