I wrote a story for Watching the Watchers this afternoon about an FEC complaint that's been filed against Daily Kos -- a conservative blogger alleges that the liberal site functions as a political action committee and therefore should disclose its sources of income and expenditures.
Conservative blogger John Bambenek's complaint doesn't seem like it will get far, given a 2005 FEC advisory opinion that supports the "media exemption" for political activist blogs. Daily Kos functions like a media site and is neither created nor controlled by political entities. Declaring that you want Democrats to win and working toward that goal doesn't make you a PAC.
But there's one aspect of Daily Kos that makes a lot different than the media -- the site directly raises funds for specific Democratic candidates and PACs. During the current and preceding two campaigns, Daily Kos has raised nearly $2 million for Democratic candidates and BlogPAC, a Democratic PAC founded by site founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga.
For the 2008 election, a Blue Majority fundraising campaign run by Daily Kos and three other liberal sites has raised $72,232 from 1,456 donors for two candidates and BlogPAC, a political action committee cofounded by Moulitsas in 2004. ...
In 2006, Daily Kos and two other sites raised $1,544,089 from 14,443 donors for 17 candidates, including Senate victors James Webb and Jon Tester, and BlogPAC.
In 2004, Daily Kos raised $366,947 from 2,235 donors for the "Kos Dozen," 12 Democratic Congressional challengers including Jeff Seeman in Ohio.
That's a lot of political action.
One little issue with the Kos "press" thing is the strong ties it has to George Soros.
Even the recent Jet Blue flap shows a strong Soros influence, shunting money to Kos through other channels that it would normally not access.
It's also worth noting that the conservative bloggers have been telling Bambenek that he's being a tool.
Boo hoo frigging boo!
I've contributed $50 under the Daily Kos banner, so what...?
I'm entitled to donate to whatever candidate I choose.
Daily Kos is no matter a political action committee than James Dobson with his phony focus on the family schtick.
Guess conservatives just can't stand it that lefties have found a vehicle that trumps all the expensive mass mail-outs and all the rantings on conservative radio.
Well, Bambenek IS being a tool.
The big problem is that, if we let the FEC get its hands on blogs, it'll be hard as hell to get anything useful done on the Web without filing some stupid form or another...
I don't support this, but... *cough* RedState *cough*. Go get 'em, tigers.
"Guess conservatives just can't stand it that lefties have found a vehicle that trumps all the expensive mass mail-outs and all the rantings on conservative radio."
There's a bit of difference between $50 and a few hundred thousand. Or using (as Soros did with Jet Blue) your stockholder's power to push a company into giving a website a huge infusion of cash. You also left out the fact that the left has TV and newspapers to counter those "expensive" mail-outs and talk radio...
The right-wing sites don't like it either - while the left side of the blogosphere makes a lot of noise, the right wing seems to be at least as effective in putting out their messages with the way things are now.
It's funny, however, that a lot of leftists seem to like the idea of big corporate donors influencing and massively funding their "grass roots" websites without their knowledge.
First of all, YearlyKos wasn't even organized by kos himself, and it's not a fundraiser for the website, it's strictly an excuse to get the community together and get some face time.
Second, dailykos didn't raise any money. They put up a link to another site, which is a PAC, through which you can raise money.
This is no different from, say, Bush's "Rangers", who didn't need to personally register as PACs either. This is called "bundling", everybody does it, and it doesn't mean anything.
Third, Bambenek is a classic troll in the usenet sense. He's socially retarded and likes getting attention by poking hornets' nests. The more ignored he is, the better off we all are.
How does JetBlue's decision to donate 10 airline vouchers to an annual convention of bloggers constitute a "massive infusion of cash"?
JetBlue was one of 23 groups to donate items and thus 'sponsor' the YearlyKos convention. JetBlue would have no presence at the conference or any other involvement with the YearlyKos event.
Incidentally, JetBlue is also a sponsor of Fox News Channel. And I can assure you that they spend more on one 15 second spot than they did for 10 travel vouchers.
With regard to the liberal grass roots embracing the "influence and massive funding of corporate donors," I don't think those words mean what you think they mean. After all, we're talking about 10 fricking airline tickets. And that massive spigot of funding was sure turned off easily, wasn't it? So much for Soros' diabolical plan to use all of his massive influence!!
Ironically, Kos himself is going to boycott JetBlue for backing down to O'Reilly! So much for bowing to our corporate overlords.
For crap's sake, dude. You're batting .000 here.
I think you need to broaden your news feed. Regurgitating Free Republic spin points can lead to embarrassing intarweb moments, especially when they're so easily debunked.
The convention in Chicago proved to everyone just exactly what Kos is all about. The truth was paraded out there in front of the cameras. BTW -- who showed up? Very poorly attended.
It did -- however -- improve O'Reilly's position -- ey??????