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March 15, 2006

Urgent! 24 hours to go before “Online Freedom of Speech Act” vote

Today’s Downsizer-Dispatch . . .

Please forward to anyone you know who cares about free expression on the Internet.

UPDATE: We’ve so-far sent 14,112 messages to Congress asking them to pass the “Online Freedom of Speech Act,” but we need to send many more before the vote tomorrow. We’re recirculating the message (below) explaining why this is important. Please help us pass this important legislation.
If you don’t need the explanation below you can send your message to Congress by clicking here.

SPECIAL NOTE: I am doing more media interviews than we can publicize in these email messages. So please check our blog for the dates and times of Downsize DC media appearances. You can do so here.

Now here’s the explanation of the “Online Freedom of Speech Act” below the fold
:

Dear friend,

The “Online Freedom of Speech Act” would preserve the First Amendment’s “Freedom of the Press” for individuals on the Internet.

It would place bloggers and webpage publishers on the same legal footing as the mainstream media.

The Federal Election Commission is under court order to impose the burdensome incumbent protection laws (otherwise known as campaign finance regulations) on the Internet. Political expression on your blog or web page would be regulated. But political expression on blogs and web pages owned by the mainstream media, such as NYTimes.com, would be exempt. The “Online Freedom of Speech Act” is designed to prevent this from happening.

Only Congressional action can prevent us from having two tiers of citizenship in this country when it comes to the Freedom of the Press. Unless the “Online Freedom of Speech Act” passes only the mainstream media will retain full, unregulated freedom of expression on the Internet.

The first step in passing the “Online Freedom of Speech Act” will come this Thursday, when the House is due to vote on the measure. The situation is more complicated in the Senate, where the “Online Freedom of Speech Act” has been combined with a very bad bill, the so-called Lobbying Reform Bill. There is time to work things out in the Senate, but . . .

There is no more time in the House. There the vote is likely to happen this week. Please act now, and tell your Representative to vote for the “Online Freedom of Speech Act.” Do not delay. It’s now or never. You can send your instructions to your Representative by clicking here.

Thank you for your participation.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

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