Commissioner: Anonymous Political Blogs Can’t Be Regulated
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's elections regulator says blogs that provide political commentary penned by anonymous authors are not subject to campaign finance reporting and disclosure laws.
Independent Public Service Commission candidate Caron Cooper had filed a complaint against the Montana Cowgirl blog with Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl.
The left-leaning website wrote about Cooper in a post titled "Renowned TEA partier caught hosting fundraiser for PSC spoiler candidate."
Cooper is in a three-way race against the Republican incumbent, Roger Koopman, and Democrat Pat Noonan.
Cooper accused the author of the blog of electioneering and producing election materials anonymously in violation of state law.
Motl dismissed the complaint Thursday. He says blogs are not considered electioneering communications.
He also wrote that First Amendment free-speech principles protect anonymous election-related communications, from leaflets to internet posts.