updated 02:52 pm EDT, Sun May 18, 2014
Signers of three letters to FCC receive 1.2 to 5 times more lobbyist money from telecoms
Members of the United States House of Representatives responsible for sending letters to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over net neutrality concerns have received more than double the average campaign contributions from telecommunication companies over a two-year window. The contributions, tracked by Maplight, shows the funds that the politicians of both parties have received via political action committees and employees of organizations.
According to Maplight's data, the average member of the House of Representative has received more than $11,000 in contributions from January 2012 to December 2013 from the telecommunications industry. The 28 members of the House who signed letters sent to the FCC had taken in on average over $26,000 each in contributions. The contributions aren't to a single party either, but spread out to both Democrats and Republicans in different concentrations.
Further analysis of the data yields that Republicans have benefitted more from the contributions, taking in on average more than $59,000, or five times more than the average contribution. Democrats, on the other hand, have pulled in over $13,000 -- or 1.2 times more than the average. Signatures place eight Republicans and 20 Democrats on the letters sent to the FCC, with the Democrats broadly arguing in favor of maintaining or improving the previous net neutrality standards, and Republicans in some cases arguing in favor of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's "fast lane" proposal (and in particular against his threat to reclassify broadband as a public utility if corporations abuse neutrality standards subject to FCC management under Title II).
The largest contributions have gone to Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) in the last two years. Walden, who is also the chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology that holds jurisdiction over the FCC, has been a recipient to contributions totaling over $109,000 in the last two years. The vice chair of the same committee, Bob Latta (R-OH), received $51,000.
While Walden leads the pack in funding received by more than $20,000, the House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) fall in the second and third place of the largest contributions from telecommunications interests. Contributions to their campaigns were marked at approximately $80,000 and $75,000, respectively. One representative, Nick Rahall (D-WV), received no contributions from telecoms prior to the issue of the letters.