From Carolyn Kay:
A Letter to the Verizon/AT&T Five
Matt Stoller, Wed Apr 26, 2006 at 06:13:30 PM EST
I’ve been asked for background, so here goes. This post refers to a vote on internet freedom (or ‘net neutrality’) that took place in a House Committee today. Right now your broadband ISP isn’t really allowed to block legal web sites or services to their customers. A law that passed in a House Committee today lets them. It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the gist. Pretty soon your broadband provider will be allowed to block Google, Vonage, or your favorite blog if a competitor pays them, if they develop a competing service, or if they just don’t like you. This sort of undermines the whole internet thing, and I’m fighting against it. More info is at These five people I’m highlighting are the Democrats who voted against a free internet, and I’d like you to call them up and let them know that their vote against the Markey Amendment (that’s what the amendment was called) is simply outrageous. They need to know people are mad.

Dear Verizon/ATT Five,
I know how much you enjoy getting campaign contributions from telecommunications interests, and I hope that you find yourself swimming in contributions. I mean, you’ve earned it, since voting against freedom on the internet isn’t going to get you many fans. I’m also glad you’re so accessible to your constituents, and I’ve taken the liberty to list the amount of money you received from cable and telephone interests, as well as your office’s phone number.

1. Ed Towns (NY-10) received $22,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I’m glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-5936.
2. Al Wynn (MD-04) received $19,100 from cable and telecom company interests. I’m glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-8699.
3. Charlie Gonzales: (TX-20) received $16,500 from cable and telecom company interests. I’m glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-3236.
4. Bobby Rush: (IL-01) received $21,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I’m glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-4372.
5. Gene Green: (TX-29) received $12,000 from cable and telecom company interests. I’m glad I can you reach you at (202) 225-1688 tel.

It’s hard work to make hundreds of thousands of internet users really really mad. But you persevered, and in all likelihood your reelection campaigns will be that much richer. Congrats, guys, you made Santa’s naughty list.
Oh yeah, and incidentally Blogpac is making a list of people to primary and people to make nice with in 2008. You know, the PAC for the internets, which is raising money here.

The Internets

PS. And as an aside, we didn’t include Eliot Engel (NY-17) and Bart Stupak (MI-01) on this list, because they changed their votes and decided to protect freedom on the internet. The other Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Republican Heather Wilson of New Mexico, voted to protect the internet as well. Thanks. They can be thanked and should be thanked here.

Lots more really good stuff at
Carolyn Kay

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