Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Violation Letters in the Real World

This letter is humorous, interesting and informative but not accurate. (ht: Instapundit) Glenn calls it "cheerful", noting the un-reality.

Of course the Federal Election Commission wouldn't send a letter like this. For one, the Commission, like just about any agency the Federal Government, doesn't engage in conversation. For another, they won't tell you the specifics of the investigation or that they have subpoenaed the Hosting Services logs in this letter, it will come, if at all, in another letter, maybe with the same date but arriving 20 days later.

I'm no government letter writer and certainly don't have a department full of lawyers to prepare a format for letters to be sent to thousands of people, but this letter is, I think, closer to the type they would write and takes into account the likelyhood of events between now and when it is sent in 2009, based on current trends and attitudes:

February 10, 2009

Glenn Reynolds
University of Tennessee
School of Law
Knoxville, TN

Dear Mr. Reynolds,

We hereby direct you to provide sworn written1 answers to the following questions related to an investigation into your violation of federal election law.

1.) Are you the sole publisher of the blog Instapundit.com.

2.) Do you have sole discretion in approving of all content published on the blog Instapundit.com.

2.) Were you the publisher of all posts on August 10, 2008?

3.) Were you the publisher of the August 10, 2008, with the post stamp 10:31 AM by Glenn Reynolds?

4.) Were you the publisher of all posts on August 30, 2008?

5.) Were you the publisher of the August 30, 2008, with the post stamp "posted at 6:45 PM by Glenn Reynolds"?

Your answers are crucial in the consideration of whether to assess a fine of up to $30,000 for violations of the Campaign Finance Reform Act (see US Code 2004-1823, amended USC2005-928374*, USC2006-17283746*, USC2007-7847362519* and USC2008-182736009874*.) as estimated by the Federal Elections Commission.

False and misleading statements are considered contempt of Congress (see US Code 2006-346052016001007823*) are punishable by a fine up to $50,000, 5 years in prison, or both.

You have 15 days to respond. By law, (see Campaign Finance Violations Legal Notice Act, USC2007-3562781234*) we are required to inform you to seek legal advice in the preparation of your answers.

By law, we are required to inform you that files related to this investigation, may be requested by a formal Freedom of Information Act, that we are required to respond to within 60 days.

Campaign Violations Group
Internet Campaign Violations Department
Written Campaign Violations Division
Office of General Counsel
Federal Election Commission

1 This request is subject to the Campaign Violations Paperwork Reduction Act (see USC2008-800000000010*.) and the Lighten America's Burden From Otherwise Very Important Campaign Finance Reform Work Act (USC2008-800000000011*) which, respectively, requires that all responses be provided in typed 6 point, New Cramped Style font; and to inform you that completion of the request has been estimated by our department to take no more than 20 minutes, 6.5 travel miles and $500 to complete, including the gathering of information connected with this request.

* Accessible at www.fec.gov, subscription required.
Glenn does have the right amendment to invoke, which, sadly, might also prompt another letter.

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