Our Buyable Senators

Our Buyable Senators December 12, 2014

In Here’s What $184K In Campaign Contributions Gets Comcast, Consumerist describes the letter our senators Pat Toomey (R) and Bob Casey (D) sent to the chairman of the FCC urging the quick approval of the merger of Comcast and Time-Warner Cable. Toomey received $70,600 in campaign contributions from Comcast in the last election cycle, while Casey got $114,000.

The writer, Chris Morran, has a great deal of fun with a letter that is pretty much water-carrying from the first word to the last, beginning with their dependence upon Comcast itself for every claim they make. “Comcast has informed us,” the senators write, “that the proposed merger will produce substantial benefits for the public, and that the company has acted proactively to prevent anti-competitive effects.” Well, that’s that, then.

For example, Morran explains the line about anti-competitive effects:

What the senators actually mean by “Comcast acted proactively to prevent anti-competitive effects,” is that the cable industry has spent decades enjoying regional monopolies wherein there generally no competition for pay-TV providers and little-to-no competition for broadband services.

In other words: for years we’ve avoided competition and you can’t get any less competitive than that, so we should be praised for not making a situation worse we couldn’t have made worse if we tried.

This, Senators Toomey and Casey agree, is acting pro-actively. OK. I’m just disappointed that campaign finance limits mean I can’t give them enough money that they’ll write letters to powerful people telling them what I want them to know.

In related news, Consumerist reports that Comcast is being sued for using customer’s routers, and electricity they’re paying for, to make up a wifi network, which is also reportedly a security risk.

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