The Blog

95 Democrats Make Net Neutrality 2010 Issue

Once again, progressives are working together with bold Democratic challengers, on the issue of corporate control of the Internet, to show Democratic Party leaders what it looks like to go on the offensive.
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The National Journal reported today:

In an effort to make net neutrality a campaign issue and fight against corporate control of the Internet, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee announced 95 Democratic candidates Thursday that pledge to protect the openness of the Internet.

As my PCCC colleague Jason Rosenbaum told PC Magazine today, "This is the first time ever that congressional candidates have joined together to make net neutrality an election issue."

Once again, progressives are working together with bold Democratic challengers to show Democratic Party leaders what it looks like to go on offense.

Many media outlets are writing about this big announcement, and some observers will wonder if voters care about this issue.

That's why the candidates involved -- led by bold progressive Ann McLane Kuster (NH-2) -- are asking the public to make clear that the answer is "yes" by being a "citizen signer" of today's bold joint-candidate statement on Net Neutrality. Click here to see it and sign.

The PCCC also set up a page on the political fundraising site ActBlue where the public already chipped in over $10,000 to support pro-Net Neutrality candidates today -- you can chip in $3 to support these bold candidates by clicking here.

The statement signed by nearly every leading Senate candidate and many top House candidates says:

I believe in protecting Net Neutrality - the First Amendment of the Internet. The open Internet is a vital engine for free speech, economic opportunity, and civic participation in the 21st century. I stand with millions of working families and small businesses against any attempt by big corporations to control the Internet and eliminate the Internet's level playing field. In Congress, I'll fight to protect Net Neutrality for the entire Internet - wired and wireless - and make sure big corporations aren't allowed to take control of free speech online. [Be a "citizen signer" here.]

In an email announcing the news to PCCC members this morning, Ann Kuster made clear how this issue is relevant to voters in her district and others -- modeling how other candidates can talk about this issue on the campaign trail:

Let me tell you how protecting Net Neutrality affects voters and jobs here in New Hampshire.

Phone and cable companies want to put tollbooths on the Internet -- forcing businesses, organizations, and individuals to pay extra for their websites to open quickly on people's computers.

Big corporations like Exxon Mobil could afford this cost. But small businesses, economic innovators, independent media, and grassroots groups could not. Losing Net Neutrality would stifle free speech, innovation, and jobs.

Especially in the "Live Free or Die" state, hurting Internet freedom by putting new tollbooths on the Internet is a non-starter. And across the nation, Democratic candidates agree.

Are you inspired by candidates willing to be bold on this issue?

At the end of the day, it's not an accident that candidates like Joe Sestak and Ann McLane Kuster are surging in the polls by being bold economic populists, willing to stick their necks out on issues that directly challenge corporate power -- like Net Neutrality. It's also not an accident that RealClearPolitics just moved Ann Kuster's race from "toss up" to "leans Dem." (How often has that happened this year!)

Today's big announcement is a model for boldness that Democratic leaders could learn from.