This is very late, but I just need to make a quick post about net neutrality and more. Early last month, the U.S. Senate had to vote to reconfirm Ajit Pai’s horrible self for a new five-year term at the Federal Communications Commission, which would retroactively begin in July 2016. This leaves the door open for more horsesh— for Pai to continue with his agenda, as horrible and pro-corporate as it is.
The Vote to Keep a Pai (and His Agenda)
Unfortunately, Pai was reconfirmed by a 52-41 vote. If no one told you who voted for what, it would seem that all the Republicans participated and voted in favor of Pai. (I mean, there are 52 Republican senators and they all voted in March to roll back ISP privacy rules.) However, that’s not how things went down.
As it turns out, a few Republicans abstained. That means a few Democrats voted for that telecom shill to stay in his government post and undermine all our telecommunications laws and shaft poor residents and small businesses more.
And who are these Democrats, you ask? Well there names are:
- Joe Manchin (West Virginia)
- Claire McCaskill (Missouri)
- Gary Peters (Michigan)
- Jon Tester (Montana)
These four gots to go. I’m serious.
Strong Democratic candidates need to rise up and run in these states. (Paula Swearingin is already doing this in WV, so that’s duly noted.) More people need to run in the other states to primary these guys. They suck.
And Joe Manchin is worst. Look at his voting record.
- He voted for Gorsuck.
- He voted for most of Trump’s cabinet picks but somehow couldn’t bring himself to vote for Betsy DeVos.
- He has voted with Trump on other issues and is licking his dried pecans.
Manchin is basically a Republican and he is not to be trusted in terms of opposing the awful right-wing agenda.
A special shoutout goes to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), who led a spirited campaign against Pai, although in a losing battle.
I also want anyone reading this to know that Pai plans to roll back net neutrality just before Thanksgiving. That’s next week and it’s a sneaky, underhanded, cowardly thing to do.
But that’s not all.
There is a fight to prevent Sinclair Broadcasting Group from accessing 72% of homes. Right now, the group wants to merge with Tribune Media to make that happen. Just last month, Sinclair denied a request to show the FCC what a merger with Tribune would look like, and Pai just relaxed a rule governing how many local television stations one company could own. And according to an investigation by The New York Times, Pai’s “deregulatory blitz” has aligned with Sinclair’s business goals.
What Can We Do?
I waited too late to tell you about the comment period, and Congress was last in session yesterday. That’s why Pai waited until this month to do what he wanted to do.
Our best course of action might be to inform each other of what is going on and possibly flood offices with calls (if they’re open), emails, and messages on social media. (You might be blocked on Twitter, though, but be as respectful as possible.)
Also, we need to visit sites like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future for more news and actions.
And finally, we need to keep track of who voted for what and whenever possible, vote those worst-offenders out.