Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Common Cause tries to save the Internet

Here's a email I received today from Common Cause. (MaryBeth, of The Desert Day By Day blog, alerted me to the corporate attempt to hijack the internet.)


Dear Steven,

Thank you so much for signing our petition on net neutrality on

The thousands of signers on the petition will send a strong signal to telecom execs and Congress to keep their hands off our internet.

Right now, we are engaged in a fight in Congress to ensure a fair and open internet. You can help by asking your Senator to cosponsor S. 2360, the Internet Nondiscrimination Act of 2006, introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The bill would prohibit network operators like AT&T and Verizon from favoring certain content over others and double-charging companies and consumers for faster delivery of content.

Media reform issues are a key part of the Common Cause agenda, but we are also working hard in other areas: lobbying and ethics reform, money in politics reform in both Congress and the states, and fixing the problems with our voting systems.

[VASPERS: I am 100% against ALL lobbying, which is the most fucked up aspect of Amerikan "government", IMHO]

Visit our website and get to know us. You can also comment and debate these issues on Commonblog.

Again, welcome to the Common Cause community. I look forward to working with you.


Chellie Pingree
Common Cause

P.S. We know you'll be interested in a new report we issued last week - Wolves in Sheep's Clothing: Telecom Industry Front Groups and Astroturf.

The report uncovers the stealth groups set up by the telecom industry to fool Congress into thinking there is public support for the industry's agenda. The report has received wide coverage in the press, which you can read about on our blog.


What is Common Cause?

Here's what they say in their About page.


Common Cause is a nonpartisan nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

Now with nearly 300,000 members and supporters and 38 state organizations, Common Cause remains committed to honest, open and accountable government, as well as encouraging citizen participation in democracy.

Common Cause
1133 19th Street, NW
9th floor,
Washington, DC 20036202-833-1200

Our Issues
Staff and Volunteers
National Governing Board
Common Cause Education Fund
How We Are Funded
How We Do It

We must bring about a renaissance in politics...Does that seem inordinately ambitous? It is. This is no time for small plans.

- John Gardner

John Gardner, a Republican, came to Washington, DC to serve as the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat. Gardner later became chair of the National Urban Coalition, a group advocating for poor, minority, and working-class residents in urban areas.

During his time in the nation's capital, a city teeming with special interest groups, he observed "everybody's organized but the people." That thought formed the seed of Common Cause, which Gardner established in August 1970 to represent citizens' interests in Washington. Within six months, the organization had more than 100,000 members, many of them joining to oppose the Vietnam War.

Since that time, Common Cause has been involved in many of the most pressing issues of the day. The organization led fights for campaign finance reforms, ethics and accountability in government, and open government at the national, state and local levels. We joined with coalitions fighting for civil rights legislation, ending wasteful weapons programs and working for reforms to our nation's system of voting.

Click here for a history of Common Cause issues. This is an informal listing of nearly every issue Common Cause has worked for since its founding in 1970.

Please visit PBS for video clips about John Gardner and the founding of Common Cause.

Our Issues

Right now, we are working on several fronts to:

Increase the diversity of voices and ownership in media, to make media more responsive to the needs of citizens in a democracy and to protect the editorial independence of public broadcasting,

Advance campaign reforms that make people and ideas more important than money,

Make certain that government is open, ethical and accountable,

Remove barriers to voting and ensure that our voting systems are accurate and accessible,

Increase participation in the political process,

Make certain that our government is held accountable for the costs, in lives and money, for the invasion of Iraq.

[VASPERS: Hey, what the fuck is happening with the Iraqi oil? You never hear the MSM mention a single hint of this scandal. We invaded Iraq for the oil, and thus all the military and civilians who die, are dying in vain. That's the truth.]

Today, Common Cause is one of the most active, effective, and respected nonprofit organizations working for political change in America. Common Cause strives to strengthen our democracy by empowering our members, supporters and the general public to take action on critical policy issues.

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