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That's Right: McCain-Feingold Doesn't Apply

The new campaign finance rules have politicos doing backflips creating new 527 organizations, saying "I approved this message," and all kinds of wackiness.

But, it seems that McCain-Feingold was in the sausage-maker (er, Congress) for so long that they completely forgot the Internet, leaving it more-or-less completely unregulated. That's right -- all that old, evil soft money has a new home: Online.

Some of the most prominent independent websites can be found at EnviroVictory.org, AmericaVotes.org, and AmericaComingTogether.com, not to mention MoveOn.org and Dean’s new group DemocracyForAmerica.com.

And they don't even have to avoid their friends on the Kerry campaign. Says reform advocate Fred Wertheimer, "They [the FEC] appear to have exempted any Internet communications from the definition of 'coordination,' thereby in theory allowing campaigns and parties to coordinate on communications." (See 'McCain-Feingold's Internet Loophole' by Chris Suellentrop.)

Why would the FEC make such a ruling? Well, in their own words, "Unlike media such as television and radio, where the constraints of the medium make access financially prohibitive for the general population, the Internet is by definition a bastion of free political speech." (PDF)

I couldn't have said it better myself.