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ATT Unites MoveOn & Christian Coalition

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-26

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Something historic has happened in Washington. MoveOn.org joined hands with the Christian Coalition to jump all over a Democrat and a corporation. Be sure to check the window regularly for flying pigs (keep an eye out for the droppings too). What could have happened to bring these two together? A congressman's stance (or lack of) on Net Neutrality.

During a House committee vote on the Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act, Republicans and Democrats made their decisions one by one until the measure was passed 20-13 (with both parties in the "yes" column).

But wait, says MoveOn, that's 33 votes. There were 34 representatives in on that committee meeting (out of 40).

Massachusetts Democrat Bill Delahunt voted "present," they learned when reviewing the roll. Present? He must have dozed off and dreamed that he was back in school.

"The free and open Internet was under seige, and your representative in Congress boldly...abstained," wrote MoveOn's Eli Pariser in an email.

The victory in the House Judiciary Committee was the first solid victory for SaveTheInternet.com's initiative that includes MoveOn and a wide range of organizations on the political spectrum.

"Our pressure achieved a strong bipartisan victory-6 Republicans joined 14 Democrats for a bipartisan 20-13 vote. But it was a nail-biter until the very end, and every representative could have been the deciding vote," said Pariser.

"Of course, to be the deciding vote, members of Congress have to decide."

MoveOn subsequently posted all of Delahunt's contact information on their website so constituents could aid him in his decision-making process. Funny, Delahunt doesn't mention his lack of opinion on the House minutes posted on his website.

Conservative rightist group the Christian Coalition joined in with MoveOn's cause by publicly announcing the joint effort to preserve Net Neutrality, which Republicans have typically been opposed to. The two organizations have temporarily put aside their differences to raise money for a $70,000 full page advertisement in the New York Times.

"We never thought we'd see the day, but it's come: we're working together with the Christian Coalition," reads MoveOn's website.

The ad will read, "When it comes to protecting the Internet, the Christian Coalition and MoveOn respectfully agree."

Delahunt will have until June to make his decision, when the act reaches the House floor.


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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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