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HANDY GUIDE: Where Montana Officials Stand on Net Neutrality

Montana Governor Steve Bullock – 100% supports Net NeutralityLeading the fight to save net neutrality nationally.

Montana’s Senior Senator Jon Tester – 100% supports Net Neutrality“I’m demanding the FCC listen to the thousands of Montanans who have contacted my office, reverse their decision, and preserve our free and open Internet. Ending Net Neutrality ends the Internet as we know it.”

In honor of today’s Net Neutrality National Day of Action, Senator Tester challenged Senator Booker to a game of one-on-one basketball—their own little #BattleForTheNet if you will—to highlight the bill gaining steam in the Senate to overturn the FCC’s decision to repeal Net Neutrality (aka a free and open internet).

In the video, Tester and Booker urge folks to “get in the game” by calling their Senators and asking them to sign onto this bill to protect a free and open internet—“We just need #OneMoreVote to #SaveTheInternet and preserve #NetNeutrality.”

Tester has repeatedly slammed the FCC’s decision to repeal Net Neutrality, arguing that “Montanans expect unfettered access to the web, which means absolutely no blocking websites, no paid prioritization, and no throttling speeds” and urging the FCC to “listen to the thousands of Montanans who have contacted my office and preserve our free and open internet.”

Montana’s Junior Senator Steve Daines – 100% Opposes Net Neutrality – He’s in favor of “Making Net Neutrality a Thing of the Past”

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox – 100% Confused what an AG does, 85% Opposes Net NeutralityDisappeared like a fox in the night when pressed for a stance, most likely favors gutting net neutrality.

Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte – 100% Opposes Net Neutrality, 200% Hypocrite – Likes the moneymaking side of the internet, not the free speech or openness part. “Two years ago the Obama administration imposed regulations on the internet that were a solution looking for a problem that didn’t exist.”

That’s a rational discussion of a complex policy issue from Montana’s only vote that Paul Ryan owns.

Montana politicians vastly differ in their response to the FCC’s decision to gut net neutrality. Some elected officials are working to save net neutrality with cutting-edge solutions like Governor Steve Bullock and Senator Jon Tester, while politicians like junior Senator Steve Daines is “Making Net Neutrality a Thing of the Past”, those are Sen. Daines words from his own press release.

Sen. Daines finds himself relegated to the leftover policy burps of Roger Koopman’s antiquated views of the internet that were hatched in a Heritage Foundation laboratory to maximize the profits of mega-telecommunications giants that would profit from the end of net neutrality. Roger Koopman is the not the type of guy that anyone should be getting policy ideas from, but Steve Daines manages to lower the bar on a consistent basis.

Sadly, Steve Daines is the deciding vote on whether net neutrality will be destroyed by the Trump administration. The fight for net neutrality is not yet over as the U.S. Senate can overturn the decision of the FCC to abandon net neutrality. Currently, only one more vote is needed to overturn the FCC’s decision.

Steve Daines is the deciding vote on whether net neutrality exists or dies.

“We will fight the FCC’s decisions in the courts, and we will fight it in the halls of Congress,” declared [Massachusetts Senator Ed] Markey, who moved immediately to introduce a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to undo the FCC’s “historic mistake.”

“With this CRA,” the Democrat who has long been a key congressional leader on communications issues explained, “Congress can correct the Commission’s misguided and partisan decision and keep the internet in the hands of the people, not big corporations.” via The Nation

The battle to save net neutrality is also in the courts as:

A coalition of 22 state attorneys general and the District of Columbia on Thursday refiled legal challenges intended to block the Trump administration’s repeal of landmark rules designed to ensure a free and open internet from taking effect. via Reuters

The Montana Post was the first to report that Montana Attorney General Tim Fox had refused to join this lawsuit to save net neutrality and instead chose to offer to no stance on the issue whatsoever. Not only is this unhelpful, it is cowardly. As an elected official, it is essential to acknowledge where you stand on crucial issues. Attorney General Fox has tacitly sided with ending net neutrality by refusing to intervene in the lawsuit to save it on Montanan’s behalf.

So, that’s the lay of the land on where Montana elected officials stand on net neutrality.

Tester took to the court to fight for it and it’s in the courts being battled over.

Bullock stood up to the FCC and has inspired governors all over America to join him.

While Steve Daines and Greg Gianforte wait for the kickbacks to roll in from their destructive stance against net neutrality.

Tim Fox is waiting to see how it pans out before he weighs in, too controversial an issue for him to comment or maybe just too complicated for him to understand.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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Nathan Kosted

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