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Presidential Hopefuls Weigh In On Net Neutrality

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Network Neutrality advocates have one word to describe the state of their cause, written in large comforting letters at the top of a gazillion emails: MOMENTUM. A principle that only recently has been understood by the public at large, or has garnered any mention in Congress has won the backing of US presidential candidates.

And that makes the 700+ organizations and three-quarters of a million petitioners at SaveTheInternet.com very, very happy.

Virginia governor Mark Warner, who plans to run on the Democratic ticket in 2008, makes a plea for Network Neutrality legislation on the wildly popular video sharing website YouTube.com in a video entitled “Forward Together.” Warner urges constituents to call their representatives soon as Net Neutrality legislation will reach the House floor this week.

John Kerry’s former running mate, Senator John Edwards, has also joined the cause, imploring his constituents and visitors to his website to sign the coalition petition, and warning the public of the counter-campaign put forth by telecommunications giants like AT&T.

“The companies that want to charge for the Internet are running a slick public relations campaign to make themselves look like a grassroots operation. That’s why the folks on our side need to wage a real – and overwhelming – grassroots effort to make sure Congress understands that Americans want to keep the Internet the way it is – free and open to everyone,” writes Edwards.

Adam Green, Civic Communications Director for MoveOn.org, says the development is a major positive for the movement.

“When presidential candidates are talking about an issue that just months ago was seen as off the public radar, you know all the momentum is on the side of protecting Net Neutrality,” said Green.

“Corporations like AT&T thought they could shower Congress with money, slip through a law giving them control of what people see and do online, and the public wouldn’t find out until it was too late. They were wrong – and any politician that is stupid enough to oppose protecting Net Neutrality will face pure wrath from constituents.”

The SaveTheInternet coalition is joined from forces on the right as well as the left, despite opposition claims that it is a “liberal” movement.

Craig Fields, Director of Internet Operations, Gun Owners of America (i.e., not a liberal) says the nonpartisan unison of the political landscape speaks to the legitimacy of the cause.

“Whenever you see people on the left and far right joining together about something Congress is getting ready to do, it’s been my experience that what Congress is getting ready to do is basically un-American,” said Fields.

The cause has also attracted conservative groups like the Parents Television Council, the Christian Coalition, celebrities like the musician Moby and actress Alyssa Milano, as well as high-profile senators like Hillary Clinton.

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Presidential Hopefuls Weigh In On Net Neutrality
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