Guest Post: Democrats Are the Ones Pushing Web Censorship

By Washington’s Blog

Dems Still Pushing Web Censorship

While the chief baddy on SOPA – Lamar Smith – is a Republican, it is really the Democrats who are the ones still trying to censor the web.

MPAA head Chris Dodd is the former Democratic powerhouse (the same guy who blocked all financial reform). Dodd and Lieberman – another Democrat – have admitted that they want to emulate Chinese style censorship.

Moreover, Raw Story notes:

Democrats are now the core pillars of support for the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), which has not otherwise engendered a strict partisan divide among lawmakers.

Far and away, the top beneficiary in the Senate from interest groups that support PIPA is Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who’s taken in just short of a million dollars from those groups, according to data from She’s also the most recent Senator to co-sponsor PIPA, adding her name to the list on Dec. 12. The runner-up is Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), who’s taken $777,383 from PIPA-supporting interest groups, and has co-sponsored the bill since May 2011.

In fact, a list of the top 20 beneficiaries of special interest money in favor of PIPA reads like a list of the Senate’s most influential Democrats: Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) in third; Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in fourth; Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) in fifth; Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the bill’s primary sponsor, in sixth; Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in seventh; Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in eighth; Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) in ninth; and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) in tenth.

The list goes on like that until Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who places 15th with $274,600 in special interest money promoting PIPA. He has not yet announced an official position on the bill. The only other Republican on the list of the top 20 PIPA beneficiaries in the Senate is Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), in 19th place with $212,312. Corker is one of the bill’s co-sponsors.

In total, only two Democrats changed their minds on PIPA during Wednesday’s blackouts: Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR). The other 11 to walk away were all Republicans, who seem more open to Silicon Valley’s warnings against onerous, job-killing regulations.

That may be due to the total sum donated to Democrats on the top 20 list: groups supporting PIPA have given over $7,319,983 to the 18 Democrats on the top 20 list, according to a Raw Story analysis. By contrast, those same Democrats have only taken in $807,502 from groups opposing the legislation.


As yesterday’s strike wore on, Raw Story reached out to all the leading Democratic senators supporting PIPA, in hopes they would step up to defend the bill. Not a single one did, and none of Raw Story’s requests for comments defending PIPA received responses.


The Obama administration said recently that it was hedging its bets on the anti-piracy bills as well ….

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on Sunday during an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press that he would move forward with a full Senate vote on PIPA in the coming weeks, once some of the text had been altered to build consensus on the legislation.

We are wholly non-partisan, but this sell out by Dems on censorship has to be named for what it is.

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        1. frosty zoom

          “U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., has also authored a proposed constitutional amendment that would make clear “the rights of natural persons (in the Constitution) … do not extend to for-profit corporations” or other private business entities.

          One potential political problem with the amendment, however, is that Sanders would not also restrict spending by labor unions in the amendment, a sure nonstarter with Republicans, whose support clearly would be needed to get an amendment passed.”


          Top 5 Contributors, 2007-2012, Campaign Cmte

          United Steelworkers

          Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union

          National Community Action Foundation

          Plumbers/Pipefitters Union

          Searchlight Leadership Fund


          bernie seems to be the least worstest, but he’s hardly “independent”.

          1. Seth

            Except that unions and corporations are not equivalent. Unions represent people. Corporations represent rentiers.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Since she’s a staunch supporter of property rights and she’s been silent on this issue (and her “progressive” supporters aren’t pushing her), I’m guessing she’s to the right of Scott Brown on this one.

      She’s really not that liberal.

      And I don’t trust “progressives” to accurately perform the calculus regarding whether a candidate is liberal or not. They often ignore the right wing positions of Democrats but will exaggerate the liberal positions.

  1. Vincent Vecchione

    Okay, not to excuse them, but I have to point out that the reason it’s mostly Democrats is because the content industries are located in blue states like California and New York. However, Nancy Pelosi has been opposed to SOPA since the beginning, despite being deluged with Hollywood lobbyist money. To be doubly fair, Darrell Issa is also a California Congressman opposed to SOPA since the beginning, and he’s a member of the ultra-fascist wing of the GOP.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Those are lame excuses.

      The Democrats are suppossed to represent liberal voters, not special interest groups. This proves conclusively that the party is run by moneyed interests. You seem to be saying, “well, that’s the way the game is run, they moneyed interests in their state really want them to pass SOPA, etc.” I say, fuck these whores. The voters of California don’t want this.

      That is not a legitimate excuse.

      Furthermore, I don’t care what other positions the GOP takes. It’s a distraction. We’re talking about keeping the internet free. I know the GOP are fascists. So ARE THE GOSH DARNED DEMOCRATS. Once again, lame ass excuse.

      And oh yeah . . . Pelosi is yanking your chain. She is just as compromised as the rest of the right-wing fascist Democrats . . . . she just gets to pretend to be more liberal and the obvious scam evidently works on some people . . .

    2. Walter Wit Man

      Also, re your link . . . . it’s easy to be against something when it’s not going to pass. What would happen if Pelosi were the deciding vote?

      Someone like Nancy Pelosi has enough power that she gets to take “principled” votes to pretend that she’s a liberal. When push comes to shove, she does what her party and her masters want. When she was Speaker of the House she promoted legislation she supposedly opposed because the Party (business interests) or the President wanted it passed. Now I know that Reid and Pelosi had to run the party and sometimes had to do something they weren’t behind . . . .but on their watch they totally transformed the Democratic platform. Just look at Social Security. It used to be a third rail issue. Any legislation to cut Social Security would be stalled, filibustered, etc. It was a red line issue for Democrats.

      Not any more. Pelosi and Reid both took orders from Obama to allow votes to cut Social Security if his Catfood Commission would have had the votes necessary. Pelosi and Reid will not pursue liberal goals when the shit hits the fan.

      No, they work for right wing fascists. They only pretend to be liberal when it doesn’t matter.

      Ron Paul on the other hand has shown that he is willing to take a bit more of a political risk and go against his party when necessary (even though I still have my doubts about his sincerity–whereas I have no doubts about Pelosi’s sincerity).

      1. Walter Wit Man

        Plus . . . the FIRST time Pelosi weighed in on the bill was YESTERDAY?

        Doesn’t sound like very principled opposition.

        Plus, her statement doesn’t really oppose it, she wants to find a solution that works.

        What a sham. Instead of getting props for coming out against it she should be punished for the obvious insincerity of it. She’s not being honest and actually helping to pass it by putting up a fake protest (because people that truly oppose it put their trust in her to stop it–this is false hope–she’s suckering you liberals).

        1. Seth

          Ron Paul? Ron Paul is as much of a fascist as anyone. He would just let the oppression be carried out state by state instead of nationally. He’s no supporter of civil liberties.

      2. JCC

        Right On! But it’s still worth emailing all these lamers and signing petitions. And Keeping The Pressure On!

        Three days ago, at some Repub debate in S.C., all the candidates were asked their position on SOPA/PIPA, R.P. flat out said he was four-square against it while theothers side-skirted and did not answer at all either way.

        Two days ago Google generated over 7 million signers of their petition through their “Going Dark” site.

        Yesterday, all the candidates except that lame ass from PA stated they were against SOPA/PIPA.

        Unfortunately what this all means is that both Republican and Democrat Reps and Senators are hoping the public blew their wad two days ago and will not follow up at the end of the month, then they all, Pelosi and Reid included, will vote for it.

        Even though I regularly get thrown on to the DNC mailing list, unsubscribe, and get re-tossed, I will continue to email these lame excuses for democracy and sign every new petition that is presented. If the general public does not keep the pressure on, the lamers will nudge and wink in the back room for ever and ever regarding the stupidity of the American Public.

        It may not do any good, but I will not go gently into that Dark Night.

        1. Walter Wit Man

          There was a time I would have taken this as a sign of hope–the GOP clowns changing positions and Democrats like Pelosi coming out against something because of supposed pressure.

          But now I wonder if this isn’t part of the scam as well. You know, let us feel like we have a voice in the process or can actually influence things. Actually, the politicians probably correctly view this as the way to raise money. They will pretend to have this as an issue when the issue is already decided. They can use existing law aggressively–which they plan to do. They can also try to get new laws–which I have no doubt they will eventully get.

          No, I do not have hope because of this very slight hiccup.

          This is only a very slight hiccup! It means nothing. They will do what they want to do. This is propaganda to make us feel like our votes matter. Like there is still democracy.

          It’s a sham. The Democrats are frauds. They need to be destroyed. All of them. From Obama to Pelosi to Warren.

        2. Walter Wit Man

          I totally agree with your last sentence though. And good comment in general.

          I have just written off the Democrats. Any hope vested in them is a waste of time and resources.

          I wrote Nancy Pelosi years ago and told her I wouldn’t vote for her unless . . . . I can’t even remember now. They don’t care. I got put on a spam list.

          There is no more negotiating with Democrats. I will not wast my breath trying to plea with them or to make an alliance with them. The Democrats cannot be trusted to uphold their side of the bargain. They have fundamentally broken their agreement with the rank and file. They represent right-wing fascists and are trying to trick liberals! Seriously. They are the enemies of liberals, liberals have just been hoodwinked into not seeing this horrible reality.

          Any self-respecting liberal that actually wants to do something politically (not that it will work), should vote for third parties or not vote at all.

          The Democrats need to be destroyed if this country is to have a chance.

      3. JTFaraday

        I think the thesis that the D-Party rotates teams of people in order to have just enough votes to pass unpopular legislation has merit. Everyone gets some “bad” votes but not enough to convince the brainwashed-bots that they’re really doing exactly what they want to be doing.

        Then they can send e-mails like the one referenced below that basically say “stop the evil fascist Republicans from passing this fascist bill we’re co-sponsoring,” (and ask to get paid for it too, no doubt).

        It must work because they keep doing it.

  2. Valissa

    Of course it’s the Dems pushing for web censorship, they’re in power! If the Republicans happened to be in power right now, I’m guessing the roles would be reversed and it would be the Repubs trying to censor the internet and the Dems “valiantly” fighting against.

    IMO, the trend of increasing authoritarianism by the gov’t has been a bipartisan endeavor.

  3. Joe Buck

    Yes, too many Democrats are in favor of this crap.

    But Lieberman is not a Democrat; he’s an independent who caucuses with Democrats but who repeatedly sides with Republicans on filibusters of anything consequential that Democrats try to do.

    1. Henry hub

      It irrelevant if Liberman is a Democrat,a Republican or a Independent. The fact is he is a unprincipled douchbag!

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Holy Joe has been welcomed back by Democratic elite and allowed to remain as Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee despite being tossed by Democratic voters in his state, his support of John McCain, and his vile behavior during the Clinton Impeachment saga.

      He may not have a D next to his name, but the Senate Dems and the President keep Joe from irrelevancy.

    3. Walter Wit Man

      The rank and file Democrat voters kicked him out but the Democratic leadership, like Obama, sneaked him back in.

      Remember, Lieberman was Obama’s mentor, and Obama used the Democratic party machine to support Joe against the will of the rank and file.

      Also, remember how Obama gave Lieberman the privilege of ending DADT? This was a subtle way to stick it to the hated liberals.

      I don’t understand how any self-respecting liberal can be a member of the Democratic party. The party leadership basically said the rank and file is irrelevant and a problem, and the party is completely owned by fascists who continually punk their rank and file.

    1. Walter Wit Man

      Where is he saying Coke is better than Pepsi? He’s saying they are the same.

      He’s just pointing out that a lot of Pepsi drinkers believed the false advertising and in this instance Pepsi Co. is tasked with the job of disappointing their customers.

      But yeah . . . I don’t expect the devoted Pepsi or Coke drinkers to change their drinks anytime soon. They will ignore this inconvenient fact and pay rapt attention to the next advertising campaign.

  4. Middle Seaman

    Both parties work, support and cater to the rich. Both couldn’t care about everybody else. The differnce between the parties is in the methods they employ and who cares about that?

  5. Jack

    The equation is quite simple. Those who want free speech and the continance of the internet and all the good it represents should simply vote for any candidate who stands against PIPA in the senate.

    It’s time for all young people to register as “decline to state”. That way candidates have to earn your vote instead of counting on it.

    Chris Dodd is piling up corporate loot so that he can go retire to his vast estate in Ireland and be buried in the aul sod.

  6. ex-PFC Chuck

    It’s called Dependence Corruption. Anyone who hasn’t yet read Larry Lessig’s Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress–and a Plan to Stop It should do so as soon as possible.

  7. Chris Rich

    Lessig nails it. As for this stupid pissing contest, It boils down to brick and mortar giant greedy bastards arguing with web based giant greedy bastards over who profits from various kinds of content.

    Both want to hog everything, confiscate wealth and pauperize. The rest is just bullshit.

    The Time Warner model involves lots of gate keepers to prevent you from earning. The Google model involves defining the ad rate terms in a monopoly.

    If you really want to fix this do antitrust action on Google as it is becoming as pernicious, wooden and sleazy as its distant parent, Microsoft.

    “Censorship” is undoable and a red herring. You all fell for it.

    1. JCC

      Censorship is doable! Ask your average non-technical Internet-connected Chinese Citizen.

      The propaganda told us over and over again that SOPA/PIPA is necessary to stop companies like MegaUpload. Oops! Not so, it seems.

      As an IT Tech, I can tell you that these laws are onerous as hell, to put it mildly, and will do very little relative to laws already on the books to stop IP Theft, and everything to lock down the ‘Net in general.

      And what do anti-trust laws have to do with SOPA and PIPA? Nothing. That is Doable with or without SOPA/PIPA.

      Although I agree it is Old School vs. New School, anyone who is against these bulls**t laws have fallen for nothing, particularly the propaganda that says it has nothing to do with censorship.

      Interestingly I got an email from the DNC today asking me me to sign some stupid petition asking the Republicans to stop supporting SOPA/PIPA. I got on that dumbass DNC list through emailing both Schumer (D) and Gillibrand (D) months ago asking them both to drop their support of these laws.

      Both replied to me that they had no intention of dropping their support or their co-sponsorship. They still support both today… and one or the other (or both) added my email address to the DNC list that today asked me to sign that stupid petition (I have never been a registered Democrat or Republican – registered Independent in 1971 and have stuck to it through thin and thinner).

      The whole thing would be a joke if it weren’t so deadly serious.

      1. Walter Wit Man

        This is why I don’t email these pricks. It’s a total scam. This is how corrupt American democracy is. You can’t even petition your government without the government rolling you. You get put on a spam list and it’s all designed to simply sucker you. Look at Obama’s internet poll re issues the public is interested in . . . . it’s all designed to control us, not designed to let them hear our voice.

        Fuck these traitorous fascists.

  8. chris

    This is surprising?

    The Democratic Party is a fraud.

    Obama is a fraud.

    Vote for JUSTICE – vote for Rocky Anderson.

  9. Kamil

    I always thought that USA is a corrupted state, but to think that members of parliament are involved in such a flagrant corruption is just shocking. Members of parliament should represent the public and never take any money in exchange for their support to legislation. How is it possible that American people accept this situation?

  10. critter

    My crumb cake Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, supports this bill. Bought and paid for. Shame on him.

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