Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Would A Comcast Lobbyist Be Stupid Enough To Offer Maxine Waters A Bribe?


If you go through the list of members of Congress supporting the AT&T and Comcast drive to undermine Net Neutrality you find mostly the worst kind of conservative corporate shills-- the entire Republican Party establishment and all the Blue Dog Democrats and fellow travelers. However, there are some stellar progressives on that list as well, almost all of them members of the Congressional Black Caucus. And it isn't just the notoriously corrupt members with "For Sale" signs perpetually glued to their asses like Edolphus Towns and Greg Meeks but progressive leaders like Elijah Cummings and Yvette Clarke from whom we expect better.

I've been asking around about why and one member told me that the big Telecoms don't only give large sums to the members but support the Congressional Black Caucus members through the shady Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, where, in short, a hood time is had by all. Again, that certainly explains a hack like Meeks but how could someone like Cummings possibly cross over to the Dark Side while upright CBC members like John Conyers, Donna Edwards, Diane Watson, Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee are fighting to uphold Net Neutrality?

A couple of days ago I got to Congresswoman Clarke's office for a comment. I have a soft spot in my heart for her, not just because I see her as a smart and effective future Democratic leader but because one of my first jobs as a kid was in her district-- as was Ebbets Field. Her staffer claims that Clarke does support Net Neutrality.
Rep. Clarke is not siding with the bad guys on this and  she certainly believes that internet access is one of the true equalizers in our society. She also applauds the FCC’s goal to increase broadband affordability and access in underserved communities. However, she is concerned Chairman Genachowski’s new “third way” approach may lead to regulatory uncertainty, thereby jeopardizing the investment necessary to make broadband more accessible, affordable, and safe.  As Chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, Rep. Clarke is extremely concerned with the potential security vulnerabilities that may occur by reclassifying broadband service. That is why Rep. Clarke signed the May 24th letter along with several of her colleagues on the House Committee on Homeland Security.
I also want to point out that the letter does not mention net neutrality. She signed on to the letter to simply express her concern with the new proposed FCC framework. Again, Ms. Clarke strongly supports open and equal internet access for all Americans, especially her constituents, but she wants to make sure that the federal government does not jeopardize both individual and national security as we work to achieve that mission.

Yesterday's L.A. Times carried an interesting article from straight-talking L.A. Rep Maxine Waters which seems to indicate that Comcast was out right trying to bribe her in regard to their takeover of NBC-Universal (another terrible idea for consumers... and for America). Maxine has been trying to get to the bottom of the monopolistic merger and says that opponents fear being blacklisted if they speak their minds. Still, it seems a little nervy of them, but afterall, that's what DC is all about. Remember, it is Comcast who has been rounding up-- and in DC, that's the polite way of saying "bribing"-- the Blue Dogs and ConservaDems to join the GOP in killing Net Neutrality, so how far-fetched is it that they would offer Waters a bribe? Staffers on Capitol Hill confirm that the explicitness of bribe offers are now so out of control and so blatant and commonplace that no one expects anything different from the thousands and thousands of scummy, and competitive, lobbyists that infect the city.

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At 4:10 PM, Blogger Cirze said...


Maxine, say it ain't so.



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