Score One For Free Speech

by | Nov 22, 2005


By a unanimous vote, the Federal Election Commission issued Advisory Opinion 2005-16 which concludes that the Fired Up! Network of blogs qualifies for the “press exception” to federal campaign finance law. The Commission adopted the draft opinion without revision.

The AO states:

Fired Up qualifies as a press entity. Its websites are both available to the general public and are the online equivalent of a newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication as described in the Act and Commission regulations.

The Commission concludes that the costs Fired Up incurs in covering or carrying news stories, commentary, or editorials on its websites are encompassed by the press exception, and therefore do not constitute “expenditures” or “contributions” under the Act and Commission regulations.

Lot 49 further notes this passage in the ruling: “…an entity otherwise eligible for the press exception would not lose its eligibility merely because of a lack of objectivity…”