Is McCain In The Pocket Of The Telecomm Industry?

I saw a story on techmeme this morning that says McCain and Obama are favored by information technology workers.  That makes sense to me.

But who is favored by the telecomm industry? For that we don’t have to look farther than today’s USA Today which reports that:

Of the 66 current or former lobbyists working for the Arizona senator
or raising money for his presidential campaign, 23 have lobbied for
telecommunications companies in the past decade, Senate lobbying
disclosures show.


McCain is a senior member of the Senate Commerce
Committee, which oversees the telecom industry and the Federal
Communications Commission. He has repeatedly pushed industry-backed
legislation since 2000, particularly during a second stint as committee
chairman from 2003 through 2005. His efforts to eliminate taxes and
regulations on telecommunications services won him praise from industry

People who lobbied for telecom companies on
those issues include McCain’s campaign manager, his deputy manager, his
finance chief, his top unpaid political adviser and his Senate chief of
staff. Telecom companies have paid the lobbying firms that employed
those top five McCain advisersmore than $4.4 million since 1999,
lobbying records show.

So it should not surprise anyone that McCain’s response to a question at last year’s D conference on net neutrality generated this response:

Sen. McCain says we should let the market and technology solve the
Net-neutrality issue: “When you control the pipe you should be able to
get profit from your investment.”

I actually agree with that last part, but controlling the pipe is regulated in this country, particularly the wireless pipe. It’s not nearly as simple as McCain makes it out to be in his quote from the D conference.

My suspicion is we won’t get the kind of telecomm reform we need out of a republican administration, certainly not a McCain administration. That’s unfortunate.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Steven Kane

    What kind of telecomm reform do you think we need?

    1. fredwilson

      We need a level playing field that will allow hundreds of wired and wirelessservice providers to flourish like the regulatory scheme that exists in manyparts of the world where wired and wireless service is far superior to whatwe have here in the USfred

      1. Steven Kane

        Agreed. And how would you propose that should happen here?And why would a Dem administration be more likely to get it done?

        1. fredwilson

          I am not sure a dem administration is more likely to get it done.What we need is comprehensive telecomm reformfred

  2. Steve

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  3. awilensky

    I was a legislative liaison way back in the 80’s for some EIA working groups. Some of the full-time EIA staffers who knew Mcain back then said he was not a big thinker on issues of Tech policy.

  4. jackson

    I’m not sure what kind of reform is being asked for here, probably more chart oriented stuff that I’ll leave you all to sort out, but I’m fairly certain there are much bigger fish to fry in the coming years.