Shilling for the party… 24 July 2007Posted by marisacat in 2004 Election, 2006 Mid Terms, 2008 Election, Big Box Blogs, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la morte de St Germain Dog - the best the BLAHgers had, Political Blogs, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
Should the DailyKos be Subject to the Federal Election Commission?
Written by John Bambenek
Published July 23, 2007
Today I filed an Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint against Kos Media, LLC., better known as DailyKos.com. I allege that they operate as a political committee and are therefore subject to FEC rules.
I first thought of this complaint during the Cindy Sheehan debacle over at Daily Kos, where Cindy pledged to run as an independent against Nancy Pelosi, and the Daily Kos basically turned on her. While some conservatives took great delight in this, I really didn’t care because it’s politics as usual. The right has thrown their fair share of people under the bus for not drinking the Kool-aid too.
However, the statement that the DailyKos was about electing Democrats stuck with me. I always assumed it was a standard left-wing group blog spouting the latest and greatest in left-wing diatribe. However, the statement that the blog exists to get Democrats elected is repeated in various places around the site, including statements by Kos himself.
Federal Election Commission rules apply for organizations that spend or contribute an equivalent of $1,000 per year in trying to influence elections for federal office. DailyKos is owned by Kos Media, a company, which makes it fit the definition of an organization. It surely spends at least $1,000 per year in hosting and based on what they charge (and get) for advertising, their support of candidates is certainly worth over $1,000 per year. Lastly, their self-identified purpose is to influence elections in the Democrats favor. They fit the criteria. [snip]
What do you think? FEC should get on the Dkos / Markos ass?
I certainly have long thought so. Further, post 2004 election when Kos declared it a Democratic site, dedicated to the election of Democrats, I was not the one to raise it in threads… several did. I did post there and at LSF he should BANNER that it is a Democratic party aligned site.
I say: Be up front. Why not [snigger, we can guess, FEC issues]
Kos and his tied in Blahgs have long been product enhancement, product endorsement scams. In my opinion. I am not have not been a devotee of the site for years (UID 97 and an observer, surely) but I can remember housekeeping posts from Markos, to the FP, exhorting Dems in congress to pungle up their mandatory donations to a congressional elections kitty. Names, amounts owed, amounts they have chipped in, etc. Just a job for Rahm. Or Reid and Shumer.
He surely organises to influence elections, by his own admission.
Go Bambenek. Go for it.
UPDATE, 9:45 am
From the thread, Sabrina Ballerina update, Adam B (who, iirc handled issues of bloggers before the FEC for Kos/aligned blogs) is at the Blog Critics site in debate with Bambenek:
Sabrina Ballerina |
Adam B arguing his case on Bambeneck’s blog:
#17 — July 24, 2007 @ 00:22AM — Adam B.
John, the “reform” groups explicitly argued before the FEC in the FiredUp case that “an organization whose stated purpose is to be the functional equivalent of a partisan campaign organization — to elect Democratic candidates and to solicit contributions for such candidates — does not qualify for the press exemption.”
Every single commissioner on the FEC rejected this argument, and agreed that FiredUp was indeed a press entity.
Moreover, the “compensation” issue only applies to being compensated by campaigns for the blogging. The FEC’s explanation of the regulations make clear that even if a campaign paid a blogger to perform technical/consulting services, the blogger’s personal blogging for which he wasn’t being paid didn’t count as a contribution/expenditure.
John, I fought long and hard alongside the folks from RedState to get these exemptions in place. The FEC could not have been more clear in 2005-06 as to what the new rules were. Please read them.
#18 — July 24, 2007 @ 00:23AM — John Bambenek [URL]
I read the 2005 advisory opinion and it involves a site that doesn’t (unlike Daily Kos) state that their primary purpose is to elect Democrats. Marcos is on record, several other editors are on record, and the site itself states prominently that the purpose of the Daily Kos is to elect Democrats. They don’t say report news, they don’t say advance an agenda, they say elect Democrats, period. It’s a different situation. You can’t argue that you’re a press outlet, when all over your site you say you’re all about electing a certain political party to office. They are incompatible. And that’s why its different…
Fired Up and others are commentary sites and act like it. Daily Kos’s self-identified purpose is to get Democrats elected. It’d be different if they themselves stated they have another agenda, but they come out and admit they act like a PAC… they can’t run and hide simply because they are challenged.
This is an interesting comment also ….
#47 — July 24, 2007 @ 10:17AM — apetrelli
Those referring to the Fired-Up advisory opinion or the FEC hearings and ensuing exemption are wrong.
This complaint is based on DailyKos’ efforts at organizing voters, and raising money to further organize voters, for the expressed purpose of electing Democrats. This is not speech, it is clearly the actions and incidents of a political committee. There are clear grounds distinguishing this from both the advisory opinion and the exemption.
Watch DailyKos over the next few days (or at most, weeks) strip all references to ‘electing Democrats’ as they attempt to rewrite history. DailyKos is as DailyKos does.
I’m sure Kos is not taking money from the DNC, but all he has to do is disclose who he is taking from and end the inquiries … and stop banning people for political discussion …. allow discussion of all candidates. Why, eg, did they ban Ron Paul diaries? Or Cindy Sheehan candidacy diaries, if their claim is to be a ‘news entity’. That is shot down by their banning of any news related to these two political candidates, imo.
Be interesting to see the troll patrols waving around their FAQs. Someone in that thread says that Daily Kos never says anywhere that they are there only to elect Dems. Lol! Very bad defense.
Thanks to Clonecone’s, Elise’s and their cohorts’ endless waving of the ‘rules book, it is embedded in the minds of all that that is exactly what they claim. It is chanted like a cult mantra ‘This is a partisan site! Dammit, READ the FAQs etc. etc. Lol. I knew the troll patrols would eventually have some value to someone … looks like the FEC will be pouring over their admonitions to ‘banned trolls’ or were simply people wanting to discuss politics on a political board?
Jul 24, 9:43 AM
************ End of Sabrina’s comment ************