"Caught in a blog bog
How an S.F. campaign finance law got fledgling
online journalists all up in a tizzy
"Michael Bassik, an avid political junkie living in Washington, D.C., learned late last month that the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was considering a law that could lead the city to regulate Web logs. He posted an alert March 31 that warned of innovation-stifling policy ahead.
"The legislation at issue includes Internet communications as part of an effort to enact campaign finance reform.
Aside from being a blogger, Bassik is a political consultant whose firm MSHC Partners, the nation's largest direct mail and Internet advertising company, has clients in San Francisco.
"A former intern at the White House, the New York Times, and New York City Hall, Bassik has worked as a political ad strategist for AOL/Time Warner and MSHC, where he serves as vice president of Internet advertising. But, he failed to disclose that a prime target of the ordinance, the California Urban Issues Project, is an MSHC client.
"There's no disputing that Bassik's appeal was effective. The legislation itself said nothing specifically about blogs, but the controversy forced an amendment that shoe-horned online journalists in with traditional media.