Congressional Reps Signing Sympathy-For-The-Cable-Industry Letter Received More Than Twice As Much Funding From Cable Lobbyists
from the the-original-'pay-for-play' dept
As the ongoing net neutrality/internet fast lane issue continues to be debated by the FCC and many other interested parties, it’s always helpful to know where your representatives stand on issues related to this battle.
One of the issues being considered by the FCC is the reclassification of internet service as a public utility under Title II. This sort of regulation is obviously opposed by major internet service providers, who aren’t exactly smitten with the idea of being held accountable on price or service quality by a government agency.
Maplight.org has researched the political contributions flowing to the 28 Congressional representatives who signed letters opposing this particular part of the FCC’s proposed rule changes and found that — surprise! — cable companies put far more money into the pockets of those who side with them on this issue.
The 28 representatives signing letters to the FCC against Title II reclassification of the internet as a public utility, a position allied with the cable industry, have received, on average, $26,832 from the cable industry, 2.3 times more money than the average for all members of the House of Representatives, $11,651.
Republicans seem to be asking for more in return for sympathetic letter-writing.
Republicans signing the letters against Title II reclassification of the internet as a public utility have received, on average, $59,812 from the cable industry, 5 times more than the average for all members of the House, $11,651.
In fact, Maplight notes that the top five recipients among letter signers are all Republicans. Evidence indicates that the spendthrift lobbyist may be better off contributing to Democrats.
Democrats signing the letters against Title II reclassification of the internet as a public utility have received, on average, $13,640 from the cable industry, 1.2 times more times more than the average for all members of the House, $11,651.
Maplight also points out that there’s an additional layer of self-interest at play as well. According to its research, 29 members of Congress own stock in Comcast, making it the 25th most popular stock in the Congressional market.
The letter warns that this additional regulation will “stifle innovation” and “halt job creation.” Comcast’s FCC filing is even more succinct in transparent self-interest:
Title II would spark massive instability, create investor and marketplace uncertainty, derail planned investments, and slow broadband adoption.
I’d love to hear more about Comcast’s “planned investments” that don’t include funneling funds into politician’s pockets or swallowing another large cable company, but the filing contains none of these insights. Like the infamous “fiber-to-the-press-release” announcements, any claim of “instability” or curbed “investments” tends to be nothing but enraged puffs of hot air.The company’s true aim still seems to be figuring out how it can make more while doing less.