Newsflash:
Issues Economic and Social Justice The Robin Hood Tax End Corporate Rule 'Astroturf' Groups Leading Drive to Kill Open Internet
Sunday, 08 June 2014 13:39

'Astroturf' Groups Leading Drive to Kill Open Internet

Written by  Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams
'Astroturf' Groups Leading Drive to Kill Open Internet Free Press

The telecommunications industry is creating and funding front groups which pose as consumer organizations and aggressively lobby to kill net neutrality, journalist Lee Fang revealed in an article published in Vice on Friday.

"We've known since the beginning of the net neutrality debate that the phone and cable industry has been willing to spend limitless amounts of money on public relations firms, think tanks, and 'astroturf' groups who will then do their bidding," Timothy Karr, senior strategy director for media justice organization Free Press, told Common Dreams in response to the report.

Industry front groups have led the drive to overturn net neutrality and block a grassroots push to reclassify the internet as a public utility—a designation that could bolster efforts to protect the open internet, Fang's article revealed.

The American Consumer Institute, a professed consumer organization, has aggressively lobbied the FCC against such reclassification. As it turns out, annual tax returns reported by Vice show that this organization is financially backed by an internet service provider lobby group.

Broadband for America, which describes itself as an organization of 300 members "ranging from independent consumer advocacy groups, to content and application providers, to the companies which build and maintain the internet," has also opposed naming the internet a public utility. $2 million of the organization's $3.5 million budget comes from the National Cable and Telecom Association, according to a disclosure obtained by Vice.

The Heartland Institute, also working to kill net neutrality, receives major funding from Comcast, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable, the reporting revealed.

"The groups exposed in the Vice report have been known to take industry money and then generate press releases, studies and others reports favorable to the phone and cable industry's positions, and they are not alone," said Karr.

He added that grassroots media justice advocates are not fooled by industry "astroturfing." According to Karr, "This has been a classic battle between corporate money and grassroots organizing. Whereas our power is derived from building broad and diverse coalitions of a lot of people, their power comes from the checkbooks and their ability to influence the debate inside the Beltway."

Link to original article from Common Dreams

Read 2527 times

Robin Hood Tax Articles

  • Could This Tax on Wall Street Turn Back America’s Tide of Inequality?
    Could This Tax on Wall Street Turn Back America’s Tide of Inequality?

    How will you honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. this April 4, the anniversary of his assassination? How about by demanding that Congress get out of Wall Street’s pocket? How about by letting your representative know that you support economic equality and a just distribution of wealth in America? As Dr. King himself said, “This is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.”

    Written on Monday, 31 March 2014 23:57 Read more...
  • Targeting Wall Street, Robin Hood Tax Comes to Washington
    Targeting Wall Street, Robin Hood Tax Comes to Washington

    With Congress about to begin the next cycle of budget battles – mostly focused on how much more pain to inflict on Main Street communities across America – a far different message is bubbling up across the land.

    Written on Wednesday, 30 October 2013 23:08 Read more...
  • The Robin Hood Tax
    The Robin Hood Tax

    Simply put, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate hundreds of billions of dollars.  That money could provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net here and around the world.  And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.

    Written on Friday, 25 October 2013 15:41 Read more...
  • European Commission Approves “Robin Hood” Tax on Financial Transactions
    European Commission Approves “Robin Hood” Tax on Financial Transactions The European Commission yesterday backed plans by 11 European Union economies to impose a “Robin Hood” financial transaction tax, better known as a Tobin tax, to help raise funds to tackle the region’s growing debt crisis.
    Written on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 16:53 Read more...

Does Your Legislator Support the Robin Hood Tax?

Sign the Petition - Sen. Sanders Run as a Democrat in 2016

Button-SandersPetition

Sign the TPP Fast Track Petitions

MoveOn.org Petition - Congress Don't Renew Fast Track

Public Citizen Petition - Congress Must Reject Fast Track Authority

MoveOn.org Petition - Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

CREDO Petition - Stop the Massive Corporate Power Grab

 

Find Your Elected Officials for Issues

Enter your zip+4 and find your elected officials. This link provides name, address and phone number

ButtonFindElectedOfficials

 

Like Robin Hood Tax on Facebook

The Robin Hood Tax

Robin Hood Tax: John Nichols and Keith Ellison and Michael Lighty

Why The Robin Hood Tax