I have an op-ed/article up this morning at Pajamas Media on the Culberson-Capuano internet rules dispute:
….There is certainly a legitimate and longstanding interest in preventing the misuse of federal employees or funds by prohibiting them from having any connection to campaign activities, a point on which Republicans and Democrats can easily agree. Furthermore, Capuano is correct to call the current rules “antiquated” and more restrictive, on paper at least, than his proposals. However, the old rules have been widely ignored by congressmen and have never been enforced, which left members of the House free to post online and engage in virtual interaction as they pleased. Enforcing the new, somewhat milder restrictions, as Capuano intends to do, amounts to a severe regime of prior restraint on speech.
More ominous still would be the precedent of the U.S. government designating “official” external websites – imagine having the power to select “official” newspapers – that would have to hew to House regulations and be as free as possible from political or commercial advertising. Given the ubiquity of blogads, most blogs, bulletin boards, and discussion forums would be shut out of the conversation with our nation’s elected officials. Essentially, Capuano is demanding that the internet adapt itself to the House of Representatives instead of the House adapting to the reality of the internet.
Read the rest here.
In addition to the posts on this issue this weekend by Matt Stoller and Mark Tapscott, my friend Lexington Green points to this new piece calling for a bipartisan coalition by Patrick Ruffini at The Next Right.