The Libertarian Party is hailing a new piece of legislation introduced by Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) that would protect the coterie of Internet "pajamas journalists" known as "bloggers" from FEC restrictions. H.R. 5699, called the "Blogger Protection Act of 2008," would give bloggers permanent protection from FEC campaign laws when linking to campaign Web sites or editorializing about candidates.
"These guys really don't get the credit they deserve for all the work they've done to create accountability and transparency in American politics," says Andrew Davis, national media coordinator for the Libertarian Party. "Often, bloggers are the first to expose politicians for lying and corruption, and hold all politicians to a new level of accountability that would have been impossible only a few years ago. They fully deserve the same protection from government interference that is given to traditional media outlets."
Bloggers were granted protection two years ago from FEC regulations that would have potentially considered linking to a campaign Web site or editorializing about a candidate a contribution or expenditure when blogging. However, those protections were only regulatory, and could be changed without Congressional approval. H.R. 5699 seeks to make those protections a statute.