Thanks to Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, I was clued into this article about HR 1606, a bill to exclude internet speech from FEC regulation. The bill passed 225-182, which was 47 votes short of a suspension vote; that is, to pass without amendments.
What shocked me the most were two of the Republican names I saw voting "Nay." Yes, Ray LaHood and Mark Kirk are there in the Nay column. I want to know why they stood with Democrats like Melissa Bean, Jan Schakowsky, Bobby Rush, and other Chicago Democrats to restrict free speech through blogs. Are we not allowed to express political speech unless we're paid to do so now and can file statements under FEC rules? If so, where's my check for all the times I posted in support of these two congressmen?
If Mr. LaHood and Mr. Kirk are constantly voting against bills like this in the name of bipartisan support for their pet bills, they should come right out and say it. Either of them should say "I voted to restrict free speech over the internet so I could get votes for an upcoming bill of mine" if that's what has happened here. This doesn't bode well for Illinois Republicans, though. We're supposed to provide a good alternative to Democratic excesses in this state. Where is the Ray LaHood of 1994 when we need him, the guy who wouldn't vote for the Contract With America because there was no Balanced Budget Amendment in it? Did he leave with the 2004 election? More's the pity if that's the case.
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