Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.
Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.
This is certainly a bizarre development. Why only local candidates? Does it apply to blogs hosted in Timbucktu as well as SF? Does an inspirational sack of the Kind constitute a “blog related expense”? Are they supplying their own free traffic meters? If you mention the names of all five candidates to a local office, do you have to pay five registration fees? Is this the wave of the future?