Politico.com yesterday provided the following report on Color of Change’s alleged attack on Representative Bobby Rush, Democrat of Illinois:Color of Change.org, which describes itself as “an online community of more than 800,000 people working to strengthen Black America’s political voice,” is petitioning Nancy Pelosi against Bobby Rush’s bid for the tech subcommittee. Executive Director James Rucker said he had “deep misgivings” about the congressman because he “has repeatedly supported the interests of the telecommunications industry over the interests of regular people, and has been a fierce opponent of network neutrality.” Rucker also said he had “grave doubts” about Rush’s ability to be an “honest broker” on telecom issues, in part because AT&T and others have donated repeatedly to the congressman.Mr. Rush put out this response:
“My position on those issues as well as my sources of contributions are a matter of public record. I will not allow the Silicon Valley funded Color of Change.Org group, which purports to ‘strengthen Black America’s political voice’ through the Internet, to call into question my integrity and honesty to lead the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet as its Ranking Member. The notion that this Silicon Valley controlled group should have the only word on what is in the best interests of people of color is foolish. When an organization rents a Silicon Valley glass house, they ought to be careful about throwing stones.”
On the contrary, Mr. Rucker. Mr. Rush’s positions on net neutrality and reclassification of broadband access as a Title II service have always been on the side of us “regular people.” Mr. Rush understands that regulation, while having its place when appropriate, is severely misplaced when applied to an industry that is growing as well as producing jobs.
Given Mr. Rucker’s obvious disdain for good old fashioned economics and good business judgment, any first semester economics student or “regular person” who runs their own business will tell you that costs added to day-to-day operations of any business will be passed on to consumers. In addition, additional regulations mean that the regulatory barriers for entering into a market will go up as well.
Communities of color are not ready for the change in Internet access they will encounter if net neutrality tainted statutes are implemented. Minority adoption rates are below national average and if Color of Change and its cohorts get their way, net neutrality will mean that the costs for wireless access to the Internet, the primary way blacks and Hispanics access the web, will increase as well.
Mr. Rush’s experience in telecommunications combined with his status as a veteran legislator is a feather in the cap that Mrs. Pelosi cannot ignore.