01 March 2006

New Political Blog

A new, anonymous Musgrave Must Go blog, about Colorado's 4th CD race, is up and running. I have some suspicions about several people who might be behind it, but nothing definitive enough to speak aloud (and I certainly don't have any actual knowledge concerning the author, who is not me).

I don't like Musgrave, of course. But, the interesting thing about the site is the set of issues it presents.

Anonymous speech is constitutionally protected, and unlike the identity politics types in academia, I don't have a problem judging content on its own merits. Moreover, a blog on blogger, like this one, doesn't cost anything in money, if the time is volunteer (which we can't know one way or that other), and if the time is paid for by a campaign or a 527, then the salary would be disclosed in its campaign finances, even if its connection to the campaign is not. If the author is paid by someone not permitted to do so or who is required to disclose it and does not, it isn't different from any other illegal behind the scenes activity. If statements are made in violation of the law on the site (e.g. a copyright violation) there exist processes to subpoena what information might be available about the author, although this is likely to be minimal, I doubt that blogger has any way of detecting blank or incorrect information in a profile, and it is possible to use public WiFi connections to make posting anonymous, so at most, a remedy would be practically limited to shutting a site down). Moreover, given the number of posts and the easy of setting up a blogger site, it is fair to say that the amount of time involved is in any case very modest. So, the issue of mysterious money corrupting politics is a red herring in the case of an anonymous blog.

The fact that contributions are requested for Musgrave's opposition poses more serious concerns, but it appears that this is being done via a third party, so again, I'm not sure that there is any merit to the idea that the site poses any campaign finance issues.

Still, one must obviously take a caveat lector approach at such a site which isn't necessarily even set up by Musgrave Opponents (it could be set up by a proponent and designed to plant some scandal about itself that helps Musgrave down the road, although I doubt it).

I suspect that it will be quite the source of buzz at Colorado Pols any moment now.

1 comment:

300 Spartans Gym said...

There is a Tancredo for President blog (tancredo4prez.blogspot.com) that tancredo.org actually links to. Would that raise campaign finance issues? I really don't know. I am asking.