Corporate-Donor Servitude 2: How Much ISPs Paid to the Lawmakers Who Support Net Neutrality Repeal

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Dec 14, 2017
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While some Republicans wrote to Ajit Pai to stop his war on free and open internet, over a 100 have supported the Commissioner’s plan to repeal net neutrality protections. 107 Republican members of the Congress have written a letter to the Federal Communications Commission supporting Pai’s plan ahead of today’s vote.

“We write today in support of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) plan to restore Internet freedom by reversing the prior Commission’s decision to regulate broadband Internet service under Title II of the Communications Act, a statutory scheme created for the monopoly telephone carriers of a bygone era,” the letter says (PDF).

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“This proposal is a major step forward in the effort to clear the way for the substantial investment necessary to advance our Internet architecture for the next generation and close the digital divide. When its effects are fully realized, more Americans than ever will experience the benefits of telemedicine, distance learning, streaming video, and future innovations made possible by broadband.”

Amid controversy of the Commissioner ignoring American public’s comments and due process, the vote is scheduled to go as planned (you can watch the livestream here). If you are wondering why would these lawmakers just decide to sell your right to an open internet, note that the Congress accepted over $100 million in donations from the telecom giants – the members of the Congress, not just the Republicans.

Well, $100 million seems to be a fair amount to make elected lawmakers say whatever the telecommunications industry wants. Folks over at Motherboard have compiled a list of those elected lawmakers who have accepted donations from the industry and have written the above letter to the FCC.

Here’s how much it took for elected officials to sell you out to the telecom industry with the net neutrality repeal

  1. Mo Brooks, Alabama, $26,000
  2. Ron Estes, Kansas, $13,807
  3. Thomas Massie, Kentucky, $25,000
  4. Ralph Norman, South Carolina, $15,050
  5. John Moolenaar, Michigan, $25,000
  6. Neal Dunn, Florida, $18,500
  7. Mike Bishop, Michigan, $68,250
  8. Alex Mooney, West Virginia, $17,750
  9. Glenn “GT” Thompson, Pennsylvania, $70,500
  10. Blaine Luetkemeyer, Missouri, $105,000
  11. Paul Gosar, Arizona, $12,250
  12. Richard W. Allen, Georgia, $24,250
  13. Kevin Cramer, North Dakota, $168,500
  14. Greg Walden, Oregon, $1,605,986
  15. Marsha Blackburn, Tennessee, $600,999
  16. Billy Long, Missouri, $221,500
  17. Gregg Harper, Mississippi, $245,200
  18. Brett Guthrie, Kentucky, $398,500
  19. Bill Johnson, Ohio, $196,666
  20. Jeff Duncan, South Carolina, $41,830
  21. Earl “Buddy” Carter, Georgia, $39,250
  22. Susan Brooks, Indiana, $168,500
  23. Gus Bilirakis, Florida, $234,400
  24. Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma, $141,750
  25. Mimi Walters, California, $161,500
  26. Joe Barton, Texas, $1,262,757
  27. Bill Flores, Texas, $127,500
  28. Pete Olson, Texas, $220,500
  29. Morgan Griffith, Virginia, $198,900
  30. Tim Walberg, Michigan, $131,850
  31. Fred Upton, Michigan, $1,590,125
  32. Joe Wilson, South Carolina, $104,750
  33. Martha McSally, Arizona, $84,936
  34. Blake Farenthold, Texas, $64,250
  35. Steve Womack, Arkansas, $104,750
  36. Tom Marino, Pennsylvania, $130,700
  37. Louie Gohmert, Texas, $85,055
  38. Walter Jones, North Carolina, $72,800
  39. Leonard Lance, New Jersey, $290,550
  40. Steve Chabot, Ohio, $332,083
  41. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia, $815,099
  42. Andy Biggs, Arizona, $19,500
  43. Mark Walker, North Carolina, $35,750
  44. Glenn Grothman, Wisconsin, $21,200
  45. Ken Buck, Colorado, $79,350
  46. Larry Bucshon, Indiana, $71,750
  47. Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee, $42,00
  48. David Rouzer, North Carolina, $34,300
  49. Paul Mitchell, Michigan, $18,000
  50. Hal Rogers, Kentucky, $360,450
  51. Doug Collins, Georgia, $103,600
  52. Ralph Abraham, Louisiana, $27,300
  53. Mark Meadows, North Carolina, $14,500
  54. Michael McCaul, Texas, $216,500
  55. Jeb Hensarling, Texas, $270,198
  56. Mike Simpson, Idaho, $125,200
  57. Tom Emmer, Minnesota, $28,500
  58. Randy Weber, Texas, $13,750
  59. Rob Woodall, Georgia, $60,250
  60. Ted Budd, North Carolina, $15,500
  61. Ken Calvert, California, $219,212
  62. Diane Black, Tennessee, $104,750
  63. Virginia Foxx, North Carolina, $115,700
  64. Sam Johnson, Texas, $219,785
  65. James Comer, Kentucky, $22,750
  66. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina, $83,250
  67. Lamar Smith, Texas, $810,462
  68. Steven A King, Iowa, $210,810
  69. George Holding, North Carolina, $97,750
  70. Rob Wittman, Virginia, $57,250
  71. John Lee Ratcliffe, Texas, $53,950
  72. Jason Lewis, Minnesota, $221,174
  73. Jim Banks, Indiana, $16,303
  74. Bill Huizenga, Michigan, $34,000
  75. Bill Shuster, Pennsylvania, $202,500
  76. Steven Russell, Oklahoma, $23,500
  77. Adrian Smith, Nebraska, $165,834
  78. Jody B Hice, Georgia, $21,000
  79. Richard Hudson, North Carolina, $136,750
  80. Douglas L Lamborn, Colorado, $110,543
  81. Chris Collins, New York, $151,060
  82. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, Washington, $673,530
  83. Brad Wenstrup, Ohio, $33,750
  84. Andy Barr, Kentucky, $51,100

While the focus right now is on the Republicans for supporting the FCC’s unethical repeal of net neutrality protections, remember that the telecom industry has been paying millions of dollars to lawmakers, regardless of their party (head over to The Verge to see lifetime contributions from the ISPs to sitting members of Congress between 1989 and 2017). After all, they wouldn’t want those making decisions to approve bills that aren’t in the favor of these giant corporations once a government is over.

This is exactly why even after a Democratic president was elected, it had taken over 6 years of activism and public outcry before the Obama administration finally approved the net neutrality rules. Those who call this a partisan issue are mistaken because money has no party and once this repeal goes forward, don’t hold your breath believing that the Congress or a future Democratic government would make it right. It would probably take another decade of consumer rights being trashed before something like net neutrality rules are approved again.

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