Is McCain In The Pocket Of The Telecomm Industry?
I saw a story on techmeme this morning that says McCain and Obama are favored by information technology workers. That makes sense to me.
But who is favored by the telecomm industry? For that we don't have to look farther than today's USA Today which reports that:
Of the 66 current or former lobbyists working for the Arizona senator or raising money for his presidential campaign, 23 have lobbied for telecommunications companies in the past decade, Senate lobbying disclosures show.
McCain is a senior member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the telecom industry and the Federal Communications Commission. He has repeatedly pushed industry-backed legislation since 2000, particularly during a second stint as committee chairman from 2003 through 2005. His efforts to eliminate taxes and regulations on telecommunications services won him praise from industry executives.
People who lobbied for telecom companies on those issues include McCain's campaign manager, his deputy manager, his finance chief, his top unpaid political adviser and his Senate chief of staff. Telecom companies have paid the lobbying firms that employed those top five McCain advisersmore than $4.4 million since 1999, lobbying records show.
So it should not surprise anyone that McCain's response to a question at last year's D conference on net neutrality generated this response:
Sen. McCain says we should let the market and technology solve the Net-neutrality issue: “When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment.”
I actually agree with that last part, but controlling the pipe is regulated in this country, particularly the wireless pipe. It's not nearly as simple as McCain makes it out to be in his quote from the D conference.
My suspicion is we won't get the kind of telecomm reform we need out of a republican administration, certainly not a McCain administration. That's unfortunate.