Corporate Democrats are gathering signatures on the big telecom lobbyist letter I wrote about a few days ago against net neutrality.

Representative Gene Green (D-TX) is taking the lead on the cave, standing with the lobbyists, and thus far, here are some of the Democrats who have signed on:

  1. Greg Meeks
  2. Loretta Sanchez
  3. Michael McMahon
  4. Eddie Bernice Johnson
  5. Alcee Hastings
  6. Tim Holden
  7. Joe Baca
  8. Lacy Clay
  9. Charlie Gonzalez
  10. Bennie Thompson
  11. Yvette Clarke
  12. GK Butterfield
  13. Albio Sires
  14. Leonard Boswell

As I wrote the other day, the letter is full of lies and misrepresentations, and basically argues for giving control of the Internet entirely to big corporations:

The letter, which I’ve obtained [pdf], contains the usual telecom lies that protecting net neutrality –  a policy that is current tradition in this country and is just recently being violated by the telecom companies – would somehow cost us jobs or investment in Internet infrastructure. It then tries to convince the FCC that Internet services are more appropriate as "information services" as opposed to "telecommunications services," which the FCC is going to classify them as.

The letter skirts the core issue – if Internet services are left classified as "information services" then the FCC has no power to protect consumers according to the recent court ruling that started this round of lobbying. Any member of Congress that signs the letter is essentially saying it’s ok to leave the Internet completely in the hands of Comcast and AT&T and the other big telecoms, with no recourse for consumers if those companies, say, decide to start blocking access to blogs that are critical of their policies.

It’s likely that the lobbyists are targeting the members of Congress who signed onto a letter last fall against net neutrality for this letter, including 72 Democrats. The full whip list from the last letter is available here. After significant netroots pressure, some of the past signers dropped off that last letter.

Here’s the full whip list of elected officials in Congress, Democrat and Republican, who have either signed on or may likely sign on and give the lobbyists what they want. Clearly, the Republican party is making a play here for telecom campaign cash. Democrats should not be falling for it, and Republicans should be ashamed at the way they’re sucking up to the lobbyists, though given how they’re behaving on financial reform I guess I’m not surprised.

Click here to give your Representatives and Senators a call today. Tell them not to sign on to this letter an instead support Rep. Jay Inslee’s letter to the FCC in favor of reclassification and protecting the Internet from these big corporations.

Jason Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum

Writer, musician, activist. Currently consulting for Bill Halter for U.S. Senate and a fellow at the New Organizing Institute.