Rep. Paul Ryan Comes Out Forcefully Against SOPA After Reddit Pumps Up Opposing Candidate
from the well,-look-at-that... dept
This is kind of interesting. You may recall that, last month, when Reddit was casting about for a pro-SOPA candidate to oppose (along with an opponent they could back), for a little while they picked Rep. Paul Ryan. The Reddit community was actually looking for a politician who had supported both the NDAA and SOPA, and originally chose Ryan. This actually turned out to be a mistake, because Ryan did not support SOPA and his campaign quickly pushed out a statement to that effect. However, some of the wheels were already in motion, and Ryan’s main opponent for his seat, Rob Zerban, quickly embraced Reddit, and was able to raise $15,000 in just 48 hours for his anti-SOPA position.
And while some had used this story to mock the potentially over-zealous crowd at Reddit… it looks like it did have an impact. Going further than his original statement, saying that Rep. Ryan was not a SOPA supporter, Ryan has now come out strongly against SOPA:
“The internet is one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history. It should stay that way. While H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act, attempts to address a legitimate problem, I believe it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse. I do not support H.R. 3261 in its current form and will oppose the legislation should it come before the full House.”
So, it looks like even if they got it wrong initially, the whole effort did certainly (1) make SOPA into a campaign issue for Ryan and (2) lead him to come out with a clear statement against the bill. And, yet, Lamar Smith still thinks there’s no real opposition.