The Jaker

Mostly rational politics, with occasional rants about how a few crazy Republicans are ruining the country.

Support The Jaker

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
The Digital Divide
One current situation really signals to me the way we regular citizens can change the country. Right now cities across the U.S. are considering making their cities fully wireless (internet), which will help bridge the digital divide that restricts lower income people from internet usage. Philadelphia is one such city, but Verizon, whose interests lie in keeping its paying internet customers, is fighting this and other efforts. Their lobby recently succeeded in inserting a provision into a Pennsylvania telecommunications bill that makes it illegal for cities and other "political subdivisions" to offer low-cost Internet access without companies' (like Verizon's) permission.

Governor Ed Rendell has until tonight to decide on signing or vetoing the bill. In the political age that is currently on the way out, politicians were compelled to sign egregious laws like this or face stiff opposition from powerful, moneyed corporations that would withhold contributions. Now, Howard Dean has showed us that normal people giving $25 each are more important and more powerful than any corporation, so politicians do not have to and should not bow to corporate lobbies like Verizon's.

Email Ed Rendell and tell him to veto the bill.
posted by CB @ 1:20 PM  
  • At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Free wireless service is a noble idea. I agree that such service would bridge the digital divide that you mention.

    However, and I realize that this was almost just a sidenote, but has Howard Dean shown us that normal people giving $25 each are more important and more powerful than any corporation and therefore politicians need not bow to corporate interests any longer?

    I know you're a Deaniac, so maybe you are making the Something About Mary "Not 6, 7. 7. 7 minute abs" facial tick as you read that last paragraph. But...

    Dean raised money and showed us all that little people and little contributions matter, but he didn't necessarily show us that $25 donations were MORE powerful than corporate backing. I'm pro the Dean method, but I just don't think it worked. Simply because he did not win the primary. Now, I know there are lots of reasons that he did not win the primary, but, still, it is not obvious to me that Dean's approach, appealling as it may be, was more successful than the traditional corporate puppet approach.

  • At 2:43 PM, Blogger CB said…

    It's my belief that political campaigns for the forseeable future, both Democratic and Republican but more on the left, will be run in the Dean Model - highly focused on online donors. Kerry clearly co-opted the internet fundraising thing at the end of the primaries and through the general election. Bush also, to some extent.

    I also believe that the next Democratic candidate for president will see HUGE mobilization among the grassroots.

    The reason I say "more important" is because the potential is simply limitless. To raise $500k, a candidate can have a 3 hour dinner, and tap out 250 people in a city so they can't donate again that cycle. Or they can do what Dean did - put up a bat, and try to get 10,000 people to donate $50. The latter has proved to be easier, and even better - it's repeatable.

Post a Comment
<< Home

Recent Posts
Contact Me
Email me
Template by

Free Blogger Templates