Posted May 1, 2019, 3:22 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 1, 2019
Contact: Evan Greer, +1-978-852-6457, firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Sinema is the only Democrat in Congress who has refused to support the Save the Internet Act to overturn the FCC’s 2017 net neutrality repeal
Digital rights group Fight for the Future has unleashed a giant digital billboard off of I-17 in Phoenix, Arizona, criticizing recently-elected senator Kyrsten Sinema for her failure to support the Save the Internet Act (S.682) to restore net neutrality. Senator Sinema is the only Democratic lawmaker in all of Congress who has failed to support the bill, which recently passed the House of Representatives 232-190 with bipartisan support. Instead, Sinema is helping Big Telecom derail S.682 by creating a disingenuous working group with telecom-backed Senate Commerce committee Chair Roger Wicker (R-MS), who earlier this year suggested net neutrality was not priority for his committee. Experts and advocates believe this “working group” has no intention of creating a bipartisan net neutrality legislation, and is merely a smokescreen attempting to derail the real effort to reverse the FCC’s repeal.
A letter to constituents obtained by Fight or the Future earlier this week shows Senator Sinema parroting cable company talking points to justify her lack of support for the Save the Internet Act. In her letter, the senator writes that “reclassifying broadband providers under laws designed in the 1930s for utilities may have serious unintended consequences.” These comments bear significant resemblance to talking points regularly used by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and top telecom lobbyists at the NCTA.
The billboard prominently displays Senator Sinema’s face and reads: “SINEMA IS CORRUPT: She’s siding with corporate donors to kill net neutrality so you pay more for worse Internet.” It then encourages constituents to learn more at www.SinemaIsCorrupt.com.
“Apparently the only people Senator Sinema cares about are telecom lobbyists,” said Fight for the Future deputy director Evan Greer. “Otherwise, how the heck do you explain her refusal to support the Save the Internet Act? The bill just passed the House 232-190 with bipartisan support. Every other Democrat in the House and Senate supports it. A supermajority of Americans support it. She is the only Democratic lawmaker who has failed to put her name on this bill. Even Senator Kennedy –a Republican from Louisiana–has said he’s willing to put his constituents ahead of companies like Comcast and Verizon. But not Sinema. The only way to explain this is corruption, pure and simple. Sinema has decided she’d rather throw her constituents’ Internet freedom under the bus than anger her Big Cable donors.”
In the build-up to the House vote on the Save the Internet Act, over 6 million people tuned in to Fight for the Future’s livestream of the bill’s procedural debates, amendment debates, and final vote, which generated a groundswell of phone calls and letters to Congress. The Save The Internet Act (S.682) currently awaits its final vote in the Senate, where Senator Sinema’s disingenuous working group is providing cover for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to block the vote.
Fight for the Future is a community of millions of people whose mission is to ensure that the web continues to hold freedom of expression and creativity at its core. We seek to expand the internet’s transformative power for good, to preserve and enhance its capacity to enrich, and empower. We envision a world where everyone can access the internet affordably, free of interference or censorship and with full privacy.