MoveOn and Christian Coalition came together to save Net Neutrality

MoveOn.org is doing a victory dance after the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to treat the Internet as a public utility and "preserve Net Neutrality."

In a February 26 email (reprinted below) the left wing extremists at MoveOn patted themselves on the back for building a movement “that brought together millions of Americans of all political stripes and proved too powerful for even the seemingly all-powerful telecom lobby." 

Retracing their involvement from 2005, MoveOn praised the Christian Coalition for joining forces to ensure all Internet content would be treated equally with "no fast lines for the rich and slow lanes for the poor."

The MoveOn email provided an inside look at the Net Neutrality movement with a link to a February 25 Huffington Post article titled "How the Christian Coalition and MoveOn Helped Save Net Neutrality: A Buried Story Of a Powerful Coalition.”

One of the co-founders of MoveOn, Berkeley radical Joan Blades, teamed up with Michele Combs of the Christian Coalition in 2005.  Blades and Combs hit it off talking about divorce, babies and the dangers of eating shellfish. Soon Combs was attending Al Gore's workshop on climate change. Blades’s siren call for conversation, dialogue and debate was part of an overall strategy to bring together people from all ends of the political spectrum.  Fellow liberal, Laura Rockefeller Chasin,  founder of the non-profit Public Conversations Project, articulated the modus operandi in 2004, “The more you push for an agreement on outcomes, the less you tend to get it…But if you shift the relationships, often they will move spontaneously toward collaboration on solutions.”

After “shifting the relationship” between herself and Combs with chit chat about babies and mercury-laden fish, Blades asked the Christian conservative to work with her on freeing the Internet from the tentacles of “the wealthy telecom industry.” Combs' mother, Christian Coalition's President Roberta Combs, also got involved, penning an op-ed with the head of the pro-choice group NARAL in support of Net Neutrality.

The agenda and timeline from  Huffington Post:

Soon after meeting Michele, Joan got the idea of a joint political effort to save what was called Net Neutrality--the right to keep the Internet available as an open commons for all. The Internet had developed that way from the beginning, with all content having equal access and phone and telecom companies supplying the physical routes for data to travel, but not being allowed to favor or disfavor particular websites, applications, or data.

The telecom companies would also be able to control any content they chose, as when Verizon refused to distribute a text message alert from NARAL Pro Choice America and AT&T muted singer Eddie Vedder's criticism of President Bush during a live Pearl Jam webcast. In August 2005, the telecom companies got Bush's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to eliminate the requirement that all content providers be treated equally.

 In April 2006, the media reform group FreePress.net launched a new Save the Internet Coalition including the AARP, MoveOn, Gun Owners of America, American Library Association, National Religious Broadcasters, Common Cause, Service Employees International Union, and key individuals like many of the people who'd first developed the Web, plus online video gamers and prominent musicians.

Then Joan proposed to Michele that their two organizations collaborate on the issue. MoveOn had already taken a leading role. The Christian Coalition had done some low-key lobbying but had issued no public statements. When Joan broached the subject, Michele promptly got the go-ahead from her organization to participate...  Michele also testified before Congressional committees and worked with MoveOn's media person. Because the groups were such strange bedfellows, their joint efforts attracted far more attention than if either had acted on its own. "If we'd just done this with other conservative groups," said Michele, "it wouldn't have had nearly the impact."

Joan agreed. "It's nice to not always be predictable," she said. "When MoveOn shows up, people expect what we're going to say. But when MoveOn and the Christian Coalition show up together, people think, 'If these guys can agree on this, maybe it's something I should pay attention to.' You get a totally different response."

Political momentum shifted further after the 2006 election--and then entered an extended period of limbo after Barack Obama's election, when it became unclear just how the FCC Commissioners he appointed would rule. That limbo is now about to be resolved thanks to the sustained engagement of an array of organizations and individuals across the political spectrum. But without Joan and Michele's friendship and unlikely partnership, an equal-access Internet might well have vanished into cyberspace.

According to Combs and Blades, the FCC’s 332-page internet regulation plan is the result of a decade-long collaboration between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, atheists and evangelical Christians. This stealth, subversive game plan cost big bucks. MRC Business  has reported George Soros and the far-left Ford Foundation pumped $196 million into the government takeover of the internet.   

Here is the MoveOn email, in its entirety:

It's time to jump for joy! We just made history. Together, we literally just saved the Internet from a corporate takeover.

The Federal Communications Commission just stood up to Comcast and Verizon and voted for real Net Neutrality—no fast lanes for the rich and slow lanes for the poor.1

This unlikely victory has been ten years in the making, at least. How did we get here? In a word (okay, in two words)—people power.

MoveOn members joined a remarkable array of allies to do what many considered politically impossible. We took on one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington—the cable industry—and through organizing, creativity, and persistence, we won. 

We made a thank-you card for the FCC commissioners who stood with Internet users everywhere and voted for real Net Neutrality today. 

Will you add your name to the thank-you card, and then invite your friends to add their names too? 

This card is for you, too—the MoveOn community that for a decade has fought for common sense and equality on the Internet. 

So here's what just happened: In a party-line vote, the FCC voted to use the simplest, clearest, most legally sound tool to preserve Net Neutrality. It's called Title II, and it allows the FCC to treat the Internet like a public utility, protecting it for all users.

Experts have long agreed that Title II reclassification is the commonsense way to go, but the extreme opposition of the wealthy telecom industry—who hoped to profit from charging for fast lanes—made the clear solution seem politically impossible to many even a year ago.

But grassroots leaders raised their voices for the commonsense solution and built a movement that brought together millions of Americans of all political stripes and proved too powerful for even the seemingly all-powerful telecom lobby.

It's worth taking a brief look back a little farther to appreciate how we got to today.

In 2005, President Bush's FCC unsurprisingly sided with the big cable companies to begin unraveling one of the founding principles of the Internet—that all content would be treated equally. When Congress tried to permanently change the rules to favor the telecom industry, the Save the Internet Coalition formed, bringing together unlikely allies such as MoveOn.org and the Christian Coalition.2 (For a bit of history, check out this 2006 MoveOn petition—MoveOn's first on the issue.) Together we stopped Congress from doing permanent damage then.

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama supported net neutrality. After he was elected, the FCC commissioners he appointed passed new open Internet rules meant to protect Net Neutrality—but they failed to reclassify the Internet as a public good, and in 2010, the order was struck down in court (in a case called, not surprisingly, Comcast v. FCC).3 In January 2014, an appeals court confirmed that ruling. We were back to square one, with Verizon and Comcast on offense.

When President Obama's next FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, introduced new rules in April 2014 that would have made things even worse, we were ready. 

Over the past year, Americans like you submitted four million comments to the FCC and made tens of thousands of phone calls to Congress and to individual phone lines at the FCC. Allies occupied the FCC's front lawn and blocked the FCC chairman's driveway. Civil rights organizers shaped public opinion by telling personal stories, not relying on corporate media. 

We rallied outside FCC field offices that never hear from the public. We shared our stories—of artists, entrepreneurs, teachers, parents who rely on an equal playing field online for our livelihoods and to make a difference in the world. We called on President Obama to fulfill his promise to protect Net Neutrality—and he did. 

President Obama sided with us for reclassification. Now the FCC is siding with us. We've won.

Congress will try to undo this, but we'll keep fighting, and we'll keep winning.

Net Neutrality is fundamental to the ability of grassroots activists to create their own media when mainstream corporate media ignores our stories. When our community wins something like this, it's important to take a moment to celebrate. And when government agencies and politicians stand with us, it's important to thank them. 

Click here to add your name to the thank-you card to the FCC, and share the victory with your friends online—on the open Internet.

This victory is ours. Let's savor it, and then let's keep defending the Internet.

Thanks for all you do.

–Maria, Victoria, Jadzia, Milan, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. "In Net Neutrality Victory, F.C.C. Classifies Broadband Internet Service as a Public Utility," The New York Times, February 26, 2015 
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=303188&id=109050-7786237-XUWelUx&t=7 

2. "How the Christian Coalition and MoveOn Helped Save Net Neutrality: A Buried Story of a Powerful Coalition," The Huffington Post, February 25, 2015 
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=303182&id=109050-7786237-XUWelUx&t=8 

3. "The Net Neutrality Battle Has Been Lost. But now we can finally win the war," Slate, January 14, 2014 
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=303183&id=109050-7786237-XUWelUx&t=10 

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Start a monthly donation here or chip in a one-time donation here.

Read more Evans @ exzoom.net

MoveOn.org is doing a victory dance after the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines to treat the Internet as a public utility and "preserve Net Neutrality."

In a February 26 email (reprinted below) the left wing extremists at MoveOn patted themselves on the back for building a movement “that brought together millions of Americans of all political stripes and proved too powerful for even the seemingly all-powerful telecom lobby." 

Retracing their involvement from 2005, MoveOn praised the Christian Coalition for joining forces to ensure all Internet content would be treated equally with "no fast lines for the rich and slow lanes for the poor."

The MoveOn email provided an inside look at the Net Neutrality movement with a link to a February 25 Huffington Post article titled "How the Christian Coalition and MoveOn Helped Save Net Neutrality: A Buried Story Of a Powerful Coalition.”

One of the co-founders of MoveOn, Berkeley radical Joan Blades, teamed up with Michele Combs of the Christian Coalition in 2005.  Blades and Combs hit it off talking about divorce, babies and the dangers of eating shellfish. Soon Combs was attending Al Gore's workshop on climate change. Blades’s siren call for conversation, dialogue and debate was part of an overall strategy to bring together people from all ends of the political spectrum.  Fellow liberal, Laura Rockefeller Chasin,  founder of the non-profit Public Conversations Project, articulated the modus operandi in 2004, “The more you push for an agreement on outcomes, the less you tend to get it…But if you shift the relationships, often they will move spontaneously toward collaboration on solutions.”

After “shifting the relationship” between herself and Combs with chit chat about babies and mercury-laden fish, Blades asked the Christian conservative to work with her on freeing the Internet from the tentacles of “the wealthy telecom industry.” Combs' mother, Christian Coalition's President Roberta Combs, also got involved, penning an op-ed with the head of the pro-choice group NARAL in support of Net Neutrality.

The agenda and timeline from  Huffington Post:

Soon after meeting Michele, Joan got the idea of a joint political effort to save what was called Net Neutrality--the right to keep the Internet available as an open commons for all. The Internet had developed that way from the beginning, with all content having equal access and phone and telecom companies supplying the physical routes for data to travel, but not being allowed to favor or disfavor particular websites, applications, or data.

The telecom companies would also be able to control any content they chose, as when Verizon refused to distribute a text message alert from NARAL Pro Choice America and AT&T muted singer Eddie Vedder's criticism of President Bush during a live Pearl Jam webcast. In August 2005, the telecom companies got Bush's Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to eliminate the requirement that all content providers be treated equally.

 In April 2006, the media reform group FreePress.net launched a new Save the Internet Coalition including the AARP, MoveOn, Gun Owners of America, American Library Association, National Religious Broadcasters, Common Cause, Service Employees International Union, and key individuals like many of the people who'd first developed the Web, plus online video gamers and prominent musicians.

Then Joan proposed to Michele that their two organizations collaborate on the issue. MoveOn had already taken a leading role. The Christian Coalition had done some low-key lobbying but had issued no public statements. When Joan broached the subject, Michele promptly got the go-ahead from her organization to participate...  Michele also testified before Congressional committees and worked with MoveOn's media person. Because the groups were such strange bedfellows, their joint efforts attracted far more attention than if either had acted on its own. "If we'd just done this with other conservative groups," said Michele, "it wouldn't have had nearly the impact."

Joan agreed. "It's nice to not always be predictable," she said. "When MoveOn shows up, people expect what we're going to say. But when MoveOn and the Christian Coalition show up together, people think, 'If these guys can agree on this, maybe it's something I should pay attention to.' You get a totally different response."

Political momentum shifted further after the 2006 election--and then entered an extended period of limbo after Barack Obama's election, when it became unclear just how the FCC Commissioners he appointed would rule. That limbo is now about to be resolved thanks to the sustained engagement of an array of organizations and individuals across the political spectrum. But without Joan and Michele's friendship and unlikely partnership, an equal-access Internet might well have vanished into cyberspace.

According to Combs and Blades, the FCC’s 332-page internet regulation plan is the result of a decade-long collaboration between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, atheists and evangelical Christians. This stealth, subversive game plan cost big bucks. MRC Business  has reported George Soros and the far-left Ford Foundation pumped $196 million into the government takeover of the internet.   

Here is the MoveOn email, in its entirety:

It's time to jump for joy! We just made history. Together, we literally just saved the Internet from a corporate takeover.

The Federal Communications Commission just stood up to Comcast and Verizon and voted for real Net Neutrality—no fast lanes for the rich and slow lanes for the poor.1

This unlikely victory has been ten years in the making, at least. How did we get here? In a word (okay, in two words)—people power.

MoveOn members joined a remarkable array of allies to do what many considered politically impossible. We took on one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington—the cable industry—and through organizing, creativity, and persistence, we won. 

We made a thank-you card for the FCC commissioners who stood with Internet users everywhere and voted for real Net Neutrality today. 

Will you add your name to the thank-you card, and then invite your friends to add their names too? 

This card is for you, too—the MoveOn community that for a decade has fought for common sense and equality on the Internet. 

So here's what just happened: In a party-line vote, the FCC voted to use the simplest, clearest, most legally sound tool to preserve Net Neutrality. It's called Title II, and it allows the FCC to treat the Internet like a public utility, protecting it for all users.

Experts have long agreed that Title II reclassification is the commonsense way to go, but the extreme opposition of the wealthy telecom industry—who hoped to profit from charging for fast lanes—made the clear solution seem politically impossible to many even a year ago.

But grassroots leaders raised their voices for the commonsense solution and built a movement that brought together millions of Americans of all political stripes and proved too powerful for even the seemingly all-powerful telecom lobby.

It's worth taking a brief look back a little farther to appreciate how we got to today.

In 2005, President Bush's FCC unsurprisingly sided with the big cable companies to begin unraveling one of the founding principles of the Internet—that all content would be treated equally. When Congress tried to permanently change the rules to favor the telecom industry, the Save the Internet Coalition formed, bringing together unlikely allies such as MoveOn.org and the Christian Coalition.2 (For a bit of history, check out this 2006 MoveOn petition—MoveOn's first on the issue.) Together we stopped Congress from doing permanent damage then.

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama supported net neutrality. After he was elected, the FCC commissioners he appointed passed new open Internet rules meant to protect Net Neutrality—but they failed to reclassify the Internet as a public good, and in 2010, the order was struck down in court (in a case called, not surprisingly, Comcast v. FCC).3 In January 2014, an appeals court confirmed that ruling. We were back to square one, with Verizon and Comcast on offense.

When President Obama's next FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, introduced new rules in April 2014 that would have made things even worse, we were ready. 

Over the past year, Americans like you submitted four million comments to the FCC and made tens of thousands of phone calls to Congress and to individual phone lines at the FCC. Allies occupied the FCC's front lawn and blocked the FCC chairman's driveway. Civil rights organizers shaped public opinion by telling personal stories, not relying on corporate media. 

We rallied outside FCC field offices that never hear from the public. We shared our stories—of artists, entrepreneurs, teachers, parents who rely on an equal playing field online for our livelihoods and to make a difference in the world. We called on President Obama to fulfill his promise to protect Net Neutrality—and he did. 

President Obama sided with us for reclassification. Now the FCC is siding with us. We've won.

Congress will try to undo this, but we'll keep fighting, and we'll keep winning.

Net Neutrality is fundamental to the ability of grassroots activists to create their own media when mainstream corporate media ignores our stories. When our community wins something like this, it's important to take a moment to celebrate. And when government agencies and politicians stand with us, it's important to thank them. 

Click here to add your name to the thank-you card to the FCC, and share the victory with your friends online—on the open Internet.

This victory is ours. Let's savor it, and then let's keep defending the Internet.

Thanks for all you do.

–Maria, Victoria, Jadzia, Milan, and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. "In Net Neutrality Victory, F.C.C. Classifies Broadband Internet Service as a Public Utility," The New York Times, February 26, 2015 
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=303188&id=109050-7786237-XUWelUx&t=7 

2. "How the Christian Coalition and MoveOn Helped Save Net Neutrality: A Buried Story of a Powerful Coalition," The Huffington Post, February 25, 2015 
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=303182&id=109050-7786237-XUWelUx&t=8 

3. "The Net Neutrality Battle Has Been Lost. But now we can finally win the war," Slate, January 14, 2014 
http://www.moveon.org/r/?r=303183&id=109050-7786237-XUWelUx&t=10 

Want to support our work? We're entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Start a monthly donation here or chip in a one-time donation here.

Read more Evans @ exzoom.net