Every major Senate Democratic challenger this fall has gone on the record as supporting network neutrality, largely as a result of blogger Matt Stoller, co-founder of OpenLeft.com. Since mid-June, Stoller has posted a public listing of where each challenger stood on network neutrality as well as the amount of telecom and cable money contributed to the candidates.
When the effort began, 9 of the 13 challengers endorsed network neutrality as a basic tenant of Internet-related laws and regulations. Stoller announced July 24 on his blog that the remaining four candidates are now on board, including Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and Kentucky hopeful Bruce Lansford, who both used blogs to announce their support.
Musgrove, who is challenging incumbent Sen. Roger Wicker, went public with a statement on the Cotton Mouth blog while Lunsford, who is running against Sen. Mitch McConnell, said in an interview on Mark Nickolas’ blog at the Political Base that he would support legislative language mandating network neutrality.
“One thing you’ll notice is that there is basically no organized telecom or cable money going to any of these candidates, with the exception of Al Franken, Mark Warner, and Mark Udall,” Stoller wrote. “Franken and Warner both had careers with cable or telecom companies, so they have friends in those industries, and Udall is a sitting House member.”
Stoller, a prominent political consultant and blogger, said in a statement, “These candidates have shown that they will stand up for the rights of Internet users, and preserve the Internet’s level playing field.”
Adam Green of MoveOn.org said Stoller’s effort “shows the power of citizen driven advocacy. A guy on his blog just pre-empted the work of millions of dollars of telecom lobbyists. OpenLeft deserves a lot of credit for leveraging its voice during this election season and getting these candidates on the record.”