We want to assure the blogging community that we are fully committed to freedom of speech on the Internet and do not support any attempt to subject every day bloggers to FEC regulations or silence the rights of Americans to go online and voice their opinion. We are equally committed to eliminating the corrosive influence of soft money in our political campaigns. That is why we both voted for the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. Unlimited and unregulated special interest dollars have no place in federal elections.
Secondly, there are fears that wealthy special interests could exploit the Online Freedom of Speech Act as it is written as a backdoor to bypass campaign finance laws and coordinate and finance a candidate's online campaign advertising. As long as their coordinated ads do not directly call for the election or defeat of a particular candidate, corporations and special interests will be able to spend all the money they want through this loophole.
We need reform that both fully protects free speech in the blogosphere while keeping soft money from so easily and unfairly influencing the political process. These goals are not mutually exclusive and Americans should not have to pick and choose between freedom of speech and the right to a fair and clean election process.
If this legislation is defeated tonight on the Suspension Calendar, it is not dead. It can come up under normal procedures at any time and the House can debate and amend it to ensure that it does not undermine political reform.