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Pelosi Rush

Pelosi Rush

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Published by Sam Gustin

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Published by: Sam Gustin on Nov 18, 2010
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06/29/2014

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November 18, 2010 The Honorable Nancy Pelosi 235 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515 Dear Speaker

Pelosi, My name is James Rucker. I serve as executive director of ColorOfChange.org, an online community of more than 800,000 people working to strengthen Black America's political voice for the greater good of all Americans. On behalf of the more than 60,000 members of our community who have recently spoken up in support of strong net neutrality rules, I'm writing to express deep misgivings about Congressman Bobby Rush's quest to become the ranking member on the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. Our members recognize that a free, open, and non-discriminating Internet is a powerful force for economic uplift, political organizing and civic participation, particularly for communities that lack broad access to other forms of media. But without network neutrality, the Internet’s amazing equalizing potential would be lost. As the new Republican majority comes to power, we can be assured that they will continue their attempts to undermine openness and freedom on the Internet. The House CTI Subcommittee is the first line of defense against these plans, a key space in which the empty arguments of net neutrality opponents can be challenged and exposed. The subcommittee needs a ranking member who will use that platform to vociferously stand up for everyday Americans against the uninhibited self-interest of major telecommunications companies. Congressman Rush's record clearly demonstrates that he is not the right person for such a job. Congressman Rush has repeatedly supported the interests of the telecommunications industry over the interests of regular people, and has been a fierce opponent of network neutrality. In 2006, Rush co-sponsored legislation with House Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) that would have killed network neutrality. In the last year, he has supported numerous efforts to prevent the FCC from instituting network neutrality rules. Further, I have grave doubts that Congressman Rush is capable of being an honest broker on important telecommunications matters. AT&T, America's oldest and largest telecommunications company, has long been one of the largest donors to Congressman Rush's campaign committee and leadership PAC. In addition, from 2001 to 2004 the company donated $1 million to a community center Rush founded in Chicago – an offthe-books donation that could lead one to wonder about the prospect of quid pro quo regarding the Congressman and AT&T. President Obama said during his campaign that he would take a backseat to no one on net neutrality. Similarly, you said that if the House takes up legislation to gut net neutrality, “it wouldn’t be a Democratic initiative.” Allowing Congressman Rush to lead the CTI subcommittee would seem to cut in the opposite direction of those promises. It’s for these reasons that I respectfully, yet strongly, urge you to oppose Congressman Rush’s candidacy for ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet.

2150 Allston Way Suite 360 Berkeley, California 94607

Respectfully,

James Rucker Executive Director, ColorOfChange.org cc: The Honorable Henry Waxman

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