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What happened on net neutrality

by: matt

Tue Dec 12, 2006 at 16:21:06 PM EST

We ran out of time. That's it, plain and simple.

Trying to educate 148 state lawmakers about net neutrality - let alone trying to build a political consensus on the issue - midway through the final month of the lame duck session is - shall we say- one tall order. Espcially tall when you consider AT&T has hired all but about two lobbyists in town, promised 2,000 new jobs, thrown all kinds of campaign contributions around, secured the support of the AFL-CIO. Not to mention the impact term limits has on all of this!

This is why I suggested that we would be better off trying to solicit people to oppose HB 6456 for other reasons besides net neutrality (e.g., a la carte channel selection) - reasons that require little explanation and have some immediate political traction.

But alas, it was not to be.

Google knew the jig was up. That's why they decided to back off. So did the Governor.

Just read the papers: the MSM refuses to even take net neutrality seriously. Most of the stories coming out about HB 6456 now mention it as an afterthought (take, for instance, this one from the AP). Yesterday, MIRS even went so far as to call net neutrality a "theory."

You can blame me or the trash the Michigan netroots if you want. You can blame the Governor and call her a DLC hack if that makes you feel better. But the truth is that Google and co. failed to get her a modicum of political cover she would need to take a stand on this. And...give credit where credit is due: AT&T came prepared.

But wait! Can't Governor Granholm veto the whole thing?

Let's look at the numbers:
House margin on HB 6456: 86-21

Number of House votes needed to override gubernatorial veto: 73

Senate margin on HB 6456: 26-12

Number of Senate votes needed to override gubernatorial veto: 25
And you could be sure as part of all of this that the Governor would be personally tarred and feathered for losing 2,000 jobs - rightly or wrongly. True, she doesn't need to run for re-election again. But it isn't exactly the best prelude for her second term.

One of the sad ironies here is that Governor Granholm actually supports net neutrality. But look at those numbers above. Asking her to fight this alone is simply unrealistic.

Time to move on.
matt :: What happened on net neutrality
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The MSM...
Most newspapers are still fighting to keep their printed product relevant.  Of course they don't get net neutrality.  In fact, there are probably some newspaper managers out there who see restricting the flow of free information on the Internet as a good thing for their employer's bottom line.

Among the Trees

They're still a far cry from owning the internet.....
We can still win the fight, just not with this bill.  One of the things we need to be doing is educating our Legislative reps on the importance of keeping the internet free from corporate influence.  Hell, a good chunk of their support comes from the netroots nowadays.  They'd have to be half braindead to want to lose it.

Despite the numbers, a veto might succeed
The lame ducks want to waddle home from Lansing for good, and they might not be in the mood to interrupt their Christmas plans to come back for an override vote.

I hope that the governor waits a few days, then reaches into her desk and pulls out her veto pen; and while she has that pen out, writes a veto message that tells lawmakers something like, "come January, let's start all over and this time we'll do it right."

My $.02.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

Pocket veto?
Can she run out the clock and pick this up with a much better situation in January?

she's going to sign it (n/t)

Check out my mediocre blog.

[ Parent ]
Then, as Matt said, we move on
Net neutrality goes on our priority list for 2007-08.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

[ Parent ]
As a stand alone bill
it is unlikely to pass.

Easier to defeat from AT&T's perspective. It would have been better to do it now, from a position of strength rather than next session when AT&T doesn't give a rat's ass, now that they have what they want.

If the Governor is serious about passing this, it needs to be added to a bill that legislators won't stop. like the state budget.

[ Parent ]
Referendum, anyone? (nt)

Now on Great Lakes, Great Times, Great Scott: Cotter vs. Jesus and Reagan

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