Standing Up For Consumers, Not Corporations

by: Joe Sestak

Mon Sep 21, 2009 at 17:30

The Internet has fundamentally and forever changed the way Americans live, learn, and work. As such, I applaud today's announcement by the FCC that it will pass a rule requiring Net Neutrality.  This is the right thing to do. Consumers should decide what content they view and their Representatives in Congress should not surrender that right to corporate pressure in favor of a system where telecoms selectively control our access to the internet.

Without action by the FCC, large corporations would become the gatekeepers of internet access at the disadvantage of individual users and small businesses. The FCC's new rules-- which I have called for since I first ran for office-- prevent a two-tiered system that favors large, established businesses over individuals and small businesses. The rules also prevent large providers-- such as Comcast and Verizon-- from abusing their market dominance, putting profits over the principle that the internet should be an open market place of ideas.

I championed Net Neutrality since I first ran for Congress in 2006; supported implementing a formal version of the FCC's 2005 "policy principles" on open Internet access; and has co-sponsored legislation in both the 110th and 111th Congress which mirrors the FCC's proposed plan. The bill I have co-sponsored--the Internet Freedom Preservation Act-- empowers the FCC with the ability to monitor and enforce Network Neutrality rules to protect consumers from unfair corporate practices.

In contrast, Arlen Specter has not supported Net Neutrality in the past:

  • Failed to co-sponsor the 2007 Net Neutrality bill (S. 215), which was co-sponsored by then Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton;
  • Failed to co-sponsor or introduce a Net Neutrality bill in the current Congress;
  • Opposed Net Neutrality in 2006 believes it is "extraordinarily difficult, candidly, when you have the giants on both sides of these issues"
  • Prefers investigating internet company violations on a "case-by-case" basis rather than issuing a "general rule"
  • Failed to follow through on his promise to create a "coordinated plan" to ensure equal internet for all."
As such, I have two questions for Arlen Specter:

  1. Why has he supported moneyed interests over the rights of individuals- choosing a partnership with corporate internet providers over his duties to his constituents?
  2. Will he once again change his position on an issue because I am challenging him in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?
It would not be the first major switch for Specter in this campaign, given what he has already done on the public option.

Thank you to the Open Left community for the support you have shown both for Net Neutrality and for my campaign. Please continue to follow the campaign on my website, Facebook page, and twitter feed.

Joe Sestak :: Standing Up For Consumers, Not Corporations

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Thank you for this! (0.00 / 0)
Granted, I don't live in Pennsylvania and am therefore not a registered voter in that state, but as a progressive with a blog site of his own (linked to in my signature, and whereupon someone has chosen to post entries in support of you), I would like to ask you a few questions to help me decide if I should direct my energies to supporting your campaign via the 'net.

1.) Will you, once elected, introduce or support legislation creating a single-payer health insurance system - Medicare for all - or, like some European nations, work to pass legislation that would achieve affordable, universal private coverage with protections in place for consumers?

2.) Will you filibuster any and all legislation - regardless of the chances of success - that would further damage the Constitution or that would harm the public?  (I.E., any attempt to retain or extend the Military Commissions Act.)  Likewise, will you filibuster any nominee whose record on Constitutional matters and consumer protection is less than acceptable?

3.) Will you join with progressives in the House of Representatives in demanding prosecution for crimes committed by Bush, Cheney, and those under them?

I thank you for taking the time to read these questions, assuming you can spend the time to do so (I know you're busy), and answer them.

Great work Joe (0.00 / 0)
Can't wait to hear how else you are standing up for consumers instead of corporations.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

Yes good luck Joe. But we need a better word than consumer. (0.00 / 0)
One of the big things about the internet is that we are become producers, some even being paid for their production. It is no longer a world where one group produces and the rest merely consume.

This is the big difference, the mark of the difference, even the meaning of the difference between TV and the net.

I also would like to know what, btw, what your position on Medicare for All is.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
You have a home with us (4.00 / 1)
Congressman Sestak.

More questions for the Congressman: (4.00 / 1)
Dear Joe, why do you choose to affiliate with the DLC (New Democrat Coalition)? What specific policy prescriptions attracted you to them -- NAFTA and its progeny, perhaps?

Or was it the DLC's fundamental neoliberal philosophy that includes deregulation and privatization, market fundamentalism, advocacy of military force and expanded "defense" budgets, expansion of executive power and the police state, etc?

There's a reason BHO is campaigning for Specter (0.00 / 0)
Sestak owed the Clintons some big favors because they helped him get elected in '06. So in '08, Joe was one of the very visible Hillary supporters in the Phila area.

This is just my conjecture, but I believe Joe hooked up with the DLC because he needed the support to take on Weldon, who was an entrenched power with plenty of money and name recognition. It's entirely possible that someone from the Clinton camp whispered in Sestak's ear that he should join the DLC to get HRC or WJC's attention. Hmmm. Another thought: maybe the deal was, "We help you, you join the DLC." I have to admit, I don't know when Joe signed on to be a New Democrat.

Karl in Drexel Hill, PA

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