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Who's Still Backing SOPA/PIPA… And Why?

from the not-dead-yet... dept

With all the talk about SOPA/PIPA it’s worth noting that neither bill is really dead yet, and either one could come back at any time — though you’d hope that Senator Leahy and Rep. Smith realize that they’d be crazy to just bring the bills back without being more open about the process. In the meantime, though, there’s been lots of talk about all of the elected officials who dropped off as sponsors — and they should be rightly commended. But what about the rest? Who is still sponsoring these bills, even though they’re widely recognized as being toxic… and what are they thinking? Here’s the list of the remaining SOPA sponsors, according to Govtrack:

  • Rep. Lamar Smith
  • Mark Amodei
  • Joe Baca
  • John Barrow
  • Karen Bass
  • Howard Berman
  • Marsha Blackburn
  • Mary Bono Mack
  • Steven Chabot
  • Judy Chu
  • John Conyers
  • Jim Cooper
  • Ted Deutch
  • Elton Gallegly
  • Robert Goodlatte
  • Peter King
  • John Larson
  • Thomas Marino
  • Alan Nunnelee
  • William Owens
  • Adam Schiff
  • Brad Sherman
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  • Melvin Watt

The seven who withdrew were Tim Griffin, Dennis Ross, Lee Terry, John Carter, Steve Scalise, Ben Ray Lujan, Tim Holden and Ben Quayle. Marsha Blackburn seemed to indicate she was dropping the bill, but is still officially listed. It could be a time thing, but it’s been a while since she made her comments.

Over on the PIPA side, the remaining co-sponsors are

  • Pat Leahy
  • Lamar Alexander
  • Jeff Bingaman
  • Richard Blumenthal
  • Barbara Boxer
  • Sherrod Brown
  • Benjamin Cardin
  • Robert Casey
  • Thad Cochran
  • Chris Coons
  • Bob Corker
  • Richard Durbin
  • Michael Enzi
  • Dianne Feinstein
  • Al Franken
  • Kirsten Gillibrand
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Charles Grassley
  • Kay Hagan
  • John Isakson
  • Tim Johnson
  • Amy Klobuchar
  • Herbert Kohl
  • Mary Landrieu
  • Joseph Lieberman
  • John McCain
  • Robert Menendez
  • Bill Nelson
  • Charles Schumer
  • Jeanne Shaheen
  • Tom Udall
  • Sheldon Whitehouse

Those who saw the light and removed themselves were Jerry Moran (who dropped the bill way back in June of last year, realizing early on what a bad bill it was), Orrin Hatch, Roy Blunt, Marco Rubio, John Boozman, Kelly Ayotte, Michael Bennett, Saxby Chambliss, David Vitter and James Risch.

The question then, is why others still have their names listed on these bills? Do they have a reason for it? I know that few of them — like Senator Franken — still keep trying to defend the bills, despite the fact that the public has spoken loud and clear that they do not support these bills. But for the rest? Why remain a sponsor of such toxic concepts?

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Comments on “Who's Still Backing SOPA/PIPA… And Why?”

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mickeywhite says:

(Co-Sponsor of SOPA)

Why does Marsha, (Co-Sponsor of SOPA), Want Congress to Regulate the Internet? Why not just say NO FEDERAL branch (the FCC and congress and the federal courts included) has any authority to decide or rule on any aspect concerning the Internet?

BUT Marsha Blackburn did Vote FOR: Patriot Act Reauthorization, Electronic Surveillance, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes ?Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension; and only NOW she is worried about free speech, privacy, and government take over of the internet?

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her ?blatantly unconstitutional? votes at :

Hephaestus (profile) says:

I apologize for the long list

FYI any guesses on the spread?

R – Rep. Lamar Smith
R – Mark Amodei
R – Marsha Blackburn
R – Mary Bono Mack
R – Steven Chabot
R – Elton Gallegly
R – Robert Goodlatte
R – Peter King
R – Thomas Marino
R – Alan Nunnelee

D – Joe Baca
D – John Barrow
D – Karen Bass
D – Howard Berman
D – Judy Chu
D – John Conyers
D – Jim Cooper
D – Ted Deutch
D – John Larson
D – William Owens
D – Adam Schiff
D – Brad Sherman
D – Debbie Wasserman Schultz
D – Melvin Watt

R – Lamar Alexander
R – John McCain
R – John Isakson
R – Lindsey Graham
R – Charles Grassley
R – Michael Enzi
R – Thad Cochran
R – Bob Corker

D – Pat Leahy
D – Jeff Bingaman
D – Richard Blumenthal
D – Barbara Boxer
D – Sherrod Brown
D – Benjamin Cardin
D – Robert Casey
D – Chris Coons
D – Richard Durbin
D – Dianne Feinstein
D – Al Franken
D – Kirsten Gillibrand
D – Kay Hagan
D – Tim Johnson
D – Amy Klobuchar
D – Herbert Kohl
D – Mary Landrieu
D – Joseph Lieberman
D – Robert Menendez
D – Bill Nelson
D – Charles Schumer
D – Jeanne Shaheen
D – Tom Udall
D – Sheldon Whitehouse

Lee says:

Dems out

Some of them are lap dogs for the entertainment industry, i.e. Karen Bass. She’s the one who wrote that redundant paparazzi bill a couple of years ago while in the State legislature. CA was bankrupt, about to shut down because no one could agree on a budget, but Bass thought it was a responsible use of scarce resources and time to push a redundant pap law, with protective laws already in existence, for celebrities.

Very disappointing and surprising Boxer would co-sponsor one of these bills. Also disappointing and surprising about Franken. Not so surprising about Feinstein.

This could end up being the needed push to create a viable 3rd party because the comment above is right – the Dems are repelling an entire generation of voters and “where else will they go” won’t stand with the internet generation.

Anonymous Coward says:


“Google gave half a million dollars to wikipedia in November.”

Except that Wikipedia isn’t written by any one person – ANYONE can and do edit, voluntarily. I’ve seen some hot debates with text changing frequently. I think if someone used an iron fist to squash editors about a company there would be revolt. It’s been bad enough with just the concept of letting corporate PR departments allowed to make changes.

Or is my head in the sand?

Anonymous Coward says:


“…but he opposes it in its current form, specifically any DNS provisions. Take that for what it is worth.”

And how does that make sense to “support” a bill that you don’t support in it’s current form? Why not get on OPEN’s bill instead … (one guess).

I bet all of those in congress still on that list are issuing the same sentiment in their responses. Some poor PR marketing firm has been working overtime to come up with that spin.

It might be interesting to send them all the same letter and see how many say the same things in the same way.

Anonymous Coward says:


“Where do these guys get their numbers.” Do you really have to ask? Take ONE guess.

And to make matters worse, not a single non-industry supported study has agreed with US industry supported studies. In fact they are routinely thrown out due to errors in how they got the numbers.

How does he explain the steady growth in entertainment spending even during a recession?

There is no excuse to be so dumb.

Anonymous Coward says:

I apologize for the long list

More than that – their entire base although I don’t know who they would vote for. Most are not in Paul’s camp – although I think he has more x-democrat’s for him than republican support.

The reason he’s lost his base is because democrats have been so spineless, giving up before there was even push-back on EVERYTHING – and NOW they grow a spine???

Disgusting. This is too blatant for any high road. The GOP courted wall street and now dem’s have hollywood = economy and speech.

Democracy can’t survive without either one.

Anonymous Coward says:

I am so disgusted with many om this bill and Obama’s quasi-support or not (depending on the moon cycle or something unrelated) since many of these people SHOULD be internet savy. Obama’s campaign in 2008 gained steam due to the internet. He was nowhere without the under 35 support and vote.

There’s a good chance many won’t vote. If Colbert doesn’t appear on the ballot, I may write his name in. I trust a comedian before any of the other options. At least Stewert took 20 minutes out of his day and seemed to “get” what this was about.

The fact that news has under covered or mis-represented this issue (including ACTA, TPP, or the resistance in EU) just adds insult to injury.

I am so sick of hearing “it’s complicated” prefacing any mention of these bills. I’m not in IT or computers, barely internet savy, bsarely able to set up a DVR or wireless, etc. And yet I can see the handwriting on the wall.

I would like to know exactly what the Chinese passed in 2009 that made 49% of internet websites disappear within one year (from an older article on TechDirt) that was put in place to stem piracy and how that compares with this latest round of internet bills.

How similar are they or aren’t they? Who else has put in place similar laws and what was the effect of that?

Endtimer (profile) says:


Sure their is. If the average news reader only hears the fake $100 billion numbers then they’re more likely to support PIPA/SOPA. Even if they do hear the real numbers the execs can always play the classic “We have our numbers, they have their numbers, you decide!” Trick.

Just look at the global warming debate. 90% of the scientific comunity are in agreement that global warming is real and man made, but I still hear conservatives trying to claim the science is not in every now and again. As long as they keep cranking out their own ‘studies’ they can convince the odd citisen who isn’t watching too closely that what they’re doing is warrented.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Why don't you put the person's party next to their name?

That’s standard when dealing with voting/support for a particular bill, so neglecting to specify party affiliation is actually pretty negligent.

It has always been our policy that we do not name parties unless it’s directly relevant to the story. Naming parties plays into the “us vs. them” storylines of the major media. This issue is not a partisan issue. Naming the party adds nothing.

In fact, I’d argue that focusing on the parties would be much more negligent than not naming them, because then people just focus on which party people belong to rather than their individual positions.

This has nothing to do with party politics.

Josh in CharlotteNC (profile) says:


Where do these guys get their numbers.

One guy pulls a random number out of the air and spreads it around for a few months. Other people quote that number repeatedly without mentioning the first guy made it up. Some other people adjust the number upwards for no rational reason. Others start quoting the new higher number. Repeat ad infinitum.

Ninja (profile) says:

I apologize for the long list

Interestingly the SOPA support is more or less balanced. The sheer amount of Ds supporting PIPA is shocking. But I’m not surprised, you D president signed NDAA… But then again the idiot Bush signed the Patriot Act and I wonder how it survived so long being completely unconstitutional. I guess the US Constitution is worth shit nowadays.

Owen says:


Don’t let this list fool you. Senator Orrin Hatch has been pushing for Internet Regulation since its inception. He authored the original COICA (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act). He received MILLIONS over SOPA/PIPA, http://sopatrack.com/congressperson/H000338-sen-orrin-hatch
AND he also thinks the Government should destroy computers without due process to help people “get the picture.”

scott says:

Congress is taking away our freedoms: Investigative reporters, look into some of these Congressmen

every single one of them needs to be defeated when they are up for re-election. also, the ones behind the Defense Authorization Act that allows for Americans due process rights to be taken away : anyone involved in doing that needs to be out of office and perhaps they should be the ones on trial. I consider that tantamount to war crimes to suspend parts of the U.S. Constitution. The invesigative reporters need to look into what went on behind the scenes to pass this assault on our freedoms, and also investigate anything Congress is doing that is shady, illegal, unethical, or in any way underhanded and I’m sure the reporters will find enough to keep them busy for several years.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:


The reply literally reeks of FORM LETTER.

Other than that does he seriously think that SOPA will stop some Chinese companies from making and selling fake IGT gaming machines? If they’re making money at it they’ll keep doing it.

And just what is this “intellectual property industry” be mentions in paragraph 8?

Strikes me that any company holding so much as a single patent would be part of that and he also seems blissfully unaware that the tech industry relies on copyright for both closed and open source software a reliance that hasn’t changed since the 1950s. Which would make them part of said industry too though a majority of the tech industry opposed SOPA/PIPA.

It would be more correct for him to have referred to what’s now being called “the content industry” rather than Hollywood which has a nicer ring to it and is less likely to get people wondering just what Hollywood needs protection from THIS time.

Nice to know that some assistant actually read your letter/email enough to hit the function key on his/her computer to dash off this dandy form letter in return.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

I apologize for the long list

I don’t know that either party will endear itself to the internet generation, if I can call it that.

It’s still a matter of who has been bought and paid for and who think they’re safe come the next time they’re up for election.

I sincerely hope they’re wrong about the safe part though realistically I’d say no. The electorate will still be stuck with choosing between tweedle-dee and tweedle-dum on election day.

I’d agree with Mike that this isn’t as much a party thing as individuals who are behind this silliness no matter how they try to explain it.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Elections are the answer

Sadly, for whatever reason, American elections rarely see the kind of carnage English and Canadian ones do when the electorate feels it’s times to throw the bastards out.

Mostly I suspect it’s the difference between the Parliamentary and Congressional systems where MPs are very closely identified with the party the electorate is so pissed at when the housecleaning takes place.

Though if this sort of thing keeps up the days of electoral carnage may not be that far off in the States when the electorate realizes that tossing the bastards out en masse every once in a while is necessary to remind them who they serve and it’s not the lobbyists.

Walks-In-Storms (profile) says:

SOPA, and law, law, law, law in the Land of the Free.

Just what we need, another law, law “more honored in the breach than the observance” – obeyed by most of us, while the rest get filthy rich by doing what other can’t afford to do. Pass a law like this that will put people in jail without fail, I’ll not only obey it, I’ll support it. Otherwise, do as I did long, long ago – close my businesses, leave the employment pool, and drop out.

When enough people do that – stopped paying taxes, in other words – we’ll get our country back. Not before.

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