I contacted Mr. Costello by email after I learned that he voted against the Online Freedom of Speech Act (the bill that would have prevented the government from regulating political speech on the web). I asked him why he voted against it and how he was planning to protect my right to free speech through the internet. Here is the "response" I received from "him":
From: Congressman Jerry F. Costello [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2005 11:01 AM
Subject: Re: WriteRep Responses
November 10, 2005
I wanted to drop you a note to let you know I received your message regarding H.R. 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act.
Thank you for sharing your comments with me. As you may know, the House failed to pass H.R. 1606 by a 2/3 majority. I opposed the bill because it would allow unlimited, unregulated soft money into the political process through the Internet. In the past, I supported the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA) in 2002 and I am
concerned H.R. 1606 would destroy the progress made under the BCRA bill. Although we do not agree on this issue, I am sure there are other issues concerning our area in which we would agree.
If I can ever be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Jerry F. Costello
Member of Congress
Yeah. What a complete non-answer. If BCRA is the bill I think it is (McCain-Feingold), then that too was a disaster.
Jerry Costello, let me make one thing clear to you: The government can have my right to express myself online, politically or otherwise, when they pry it from my cold, dead hands. If the day should ever come when the government begins regulating political speech on the internet, you will receive a personal visit from me, and I hope you will have a good explanation for allowing the government to trod on our constitutional rights.