I find it impossible to write about the life issues without also writing about politics, politicians, and public policy. I am not registered with either the Federal Elections Commission or the New Hampshire Secretary of State as a political action committee. I don’t see a problem there. A fellow blogger is discovering that in his case, there IS a problem. He is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to straighten things out.
Noted with alarm: this item from the Wall Street Journal weekend edition of September 7. To summarize briefly, an Ohio man named Ed Corsi started a political web site in 2008. He blogged. He sponsored meetings. He made flyers and distributed them. He spent money to maintain his site, hold the meetings, and print those flyers. That’s what nailed him, apparently. A local GOP official who was also a member of the board of elections accused Corsi of not printing disclaimers on his flyers as required by law for PACs. Corsi was spending money to influence elections, said the accuser.
Not coincidentally, the GOP official in question had been the subject of criticism from Corsi. Until his own ox was gored, the official apparently was not moved to apply the PAC law to a blog.
This blog isn’t “registered” with anyone aside from WordPress, the blog platform I use. It certainly isn’t a money-making operation yet. It is, however, frankly political. Politics, culture, and the right to life are inextricably linked. I didn’t link them myself.
Does that make me a “political action committee”? Somehow, I doubt that the first advocates of campaign finance reform had writers in mind – even opinionated writers. Imagine the writers of the Federalist Papers, anonymous (“Publius”) even though their identities are now known to history, being hauled into court for not having disclaimers on their appeals for ratification of the Constitution. Granted, they were promoting ballot questions rather than candidates. The principle is the same: writers supporting one side or another in a political question should not have to register with the government.
So I’m not registering. I’m writing. And I’m keeping an eye on the Corsi case.