Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI, 2nd District): Mid-day with Mark
Is it Time to Democratize the News?
Did Kellyanne Conway Break the Law?
How The Loss Of Net Neutrality and Citizens United Work Together To Create Fascism
Net neutrality protests are going to be happening.
I think that there's a larger frame here and that is that we're looking at a process. Arguably it started happening in 1971 with Lewis Powell's memo to Eugene Sydnor the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And that letter has been referred to as the Powell memo in which Powell said corporations, businesses, rich people need to start getting politically active.
Up until that point it was considered unpatriotic for a corporation to engage itself in politics because corporations have so much financial power that everybody understood that they could twist politics to their advantage, to their goals, to their ends. And therefore it was highly inappropriate for corporations to be involved in politics.
But in 1971 Lewis Powell argued strongly and forcefully to some of the wealthiest people in America, "you've got to get politically active". And they did. In the 70s they started the Heritage Foundation, which was renamed as the Cato Institute. Within a decade and a half, two decades you had Fox News. Right-wing hate radio really started in 1987, again, in large part as a consequence of the Powell memo, in my opinion.
In 1971 Nixon put Lewis Powell on the US Supreme Court and thus in 1976 in the Buckley v. Valeo case he ruled and wrote the opinion that when billionaires and the corporations who make them rich give money to politicians, that's not considered a bribe, that's considered free speech protected by the First Amendment of the United States.
So Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission didn't really begin it, but put it on steroids - certified it, ratified it. It turned into an industry the purchasing of politicians - particularly Republican politicians - Republicans fully embraced this.
In a similar way we're watching this move for net neutrality. Ajit Pai, the former Verizon lawyer who now is the head of the FCC, is moving to destroy net neutrality in just a few weeks and there are going to be protests at Verizon stores all over the country.