Hats off to our Democrat friends!!! Lest you be suspicious let me assure you there is no sarcasm whatsoever. I commend 7 Democrat lawmakers and the Republicans who stood firm in support of grassroots participation in politics. Allowing our elected officials to assume a position of isolation using Section 220 as a bulwark against citizen influence would be a travesty and an abuse of the power citizens have granted their elected officials.
Under the legislation (Section 220), if you and I tried to influence the general public by asking our friends to contact members of Congress by emaill, phone, etc., or if some blogger simply blogged a call to action, they would have to register as lobbyists and file financial reports with the feds. Failure to do so would result in a $200,000 fine. So much for transparency and ethics in D.C.
In response to the public outcry, Utah senator Bob Bennett proposed the Bennett amendment that would remove Section 220 from the ethics bill to which it was attached.
Since bloggers seem to be dominated by Democrats (is it my imagination?) I'm sure there were many Democrats calling in support for the Bennett amendment. In any case, it was a good issue to unite on.