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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Re: What Will McGavick Say About Net Neutrality?

Posted by on June 28 at 16:00 PM

Well, McGavick’s campaign sent a response to my follow-up question to his initial statement on the Snowe/Dorgan net neutrality amendment (which just failed in the Senate Commerce Committee). My follow-up question was this: “I don’t get it: does that mean he doesn’t support the net neutrality amendment?”

McGavick’s “response” to my follow-up question wasn’t really a response at all. Perhaps I’m being bitchy, but judge for yourself. Here’s what he sent:

“As with so many other things, the partisanship surrounding this issue is at an extreme high. The arguments on both sides have been distorted to the point where complex discussions with serious implications are summarized in bumper sticker length. I’m for continued innovation on the internet and for incenting investment in the broadband infrastructure. I support consumer choice, competition and the right to access any website. We ought not to restrain innovation through heavy handed regulation or restrain the deployment of new internet technologies, just as we should not restrain development and innovation at places like Microsoft. I’m concerned about the implications of over regulation especially as they pertain to new technologies and development. I’m very open to new ideas as we move though the legislative process. At this point, I fear that the Snowe-Dorgan amendment may go too far.ā€¯

I called back and said, that sounds like a ‘No,’ but I’m not sure. Soooo, 1 more time: “Yes or No on the amendment? If you were on the Committee—like Cantwell is—how would you vote?” Here’s what I got back:

As he said, Mike remains very open to new ideas as we move though the legislative process, supports continued innovation, consumer choice, equal access to the internet and investment in infrastructure. However, he does not feel that the Snowe-Dorgan language as currently drafted offers the correct balance on all of these issues, and accordingly would not support it at this time.

That was difficult.

I also asked Cantwell’s office for her position on the Snowe/Dorgan amendment.

Here’s what Cantwell said:

Look, its about the future of the Internet. The telecom companies have no business stifling innovations and serving as gatekeepers, getting between consumers and the content they want -just because they are used to wielding monopoly power. That’s why I have cosponsored strong net neutrallity legislation [Snowe/Dorgan]-to make sure we maintain the open architecture of the Internet that will promote innovation and freedom of expression of the net.

Snowe/Dorgan failed 11-11. Cantwell, obviously, voted for the amendment.

CommentsRSS icon

I see that "to incent" is now a verb. Better than "incentivize" or "incentuate," I guess.

Nice job, Josh, holding his feet to the fire. I know it'll prove tiring, but can we trust this level of persistance will continue throughout the campaign?

Next up: Bush's Social Security Privatization scheme. Being a Republican, I think it's safe to assume McGavick supports the President's plan. Would he care to clarify matters if that's a mischaracterization?

Slightly off-topic, the clock is running! It's been eight hours now, and Senator McGavick has not yet claimed credit for the FERC ruling against Enron and in favor of Snohomish PUD.

Josh, can you pin this down?

Actually, as I stated earlier, his first statement basically said he wasn't voting for it.

Iā€™m not certain that either the Snowe-Dorgan or the Stevens proposed amendments strike the appropriate balance between limited regulation and protection of a neutral internet.

He, like any politician, isn't going to vote into law an amendment that he isn't sure will work effectively. So really, that was a no.

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