Friday, November 14, 2008

Pick Me! Pick Me!

Most of us had that experience in grammar school, the being “picked” for the team experience. When it came to softball, I usually was last on the pick list along with the girl with the coke bottle glasses and buck teeth. However when it came to volleyball, not only was I a premium pick, I usually was captain because I was a volleyball diva on steroids. Give me the set-up and I delivered a vicious spike. Bam!

It is with great wonder and some amusement that I watch the conversations on the various listservs about who President-Elect Obama is going to appoint to the FCC. So much for hope and change. And why would any grown up think that electing a Democrat was the formula for any change when it comes to telecommunications? Paleeze people! Have we learned nothing? Bobby Rush gets a million bucks for his community center from SBC. The Democratic Party in California lead by Fabian Nunez receives a $4 million check from at&t after passing statewide video franchising. Does anybody remember the reign of Bill Kennard as FCC chair? When it came to PEG he was as useless as a boar with female characteristics. I can go state by state (and I have by the way) and show how Democrats led the charge to pass statewide/state-issued franchising laws.

Politics 101: When it comes to telecommunications there is no red or blue, there is only green.

Case in point, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Comcast’s own David L. Cohen had a single soiree at his home in Philly and raised $6.1 million for Obama and the Democratic Party. That must have been some good pate. Now pundits and politicos are speculating that it won’t have any effect on Obama’s decision making and appointments. Even though Pennsylvania Governor Rendell[1] failed to get Cohen appointed chief of staff there are still plenty of plums to be had for Cohen in the Obamastration. And if you don’t believe that I’ll be happy to explain what a turnip truck is.

All of this has made me turn to prayer.

Floating around is the name Julia Johnson. I don’t believe I’ve met the woman and I’m sure she’s perfectly nice. However her leadership of the Astroturf group, Video Access Alliance, should make us all squirm. She championed the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement (COPE) Act. Remember that peccadillo? The nationalization of video franchising? The end run attempt by at&t and Verizon to get around local franchising? It failed but that didn’t stop at&t and Verizon from greasing Johnson's wallet with a few greenbacks.

We have endured eight long years of having an FCC unresponsive to the local communities or consumers for that matter. It has been an FCC more consumed with Janet Jackson’s boobies than what is actually good for communications or the American people. We simply cannot take another eight years of the same. If we don’t get another Copps or Adelstein appointed we might as well have voted for the other guy and been done with it.

So I nominate myself.

Here’s why. First, I really don’t give a crap about money. I even have an award on my wall given to me by the Philadelphia PEG activists called the “Not In It For the Money” award. Second, I don’t like smarmy, slick, thousand dollar suit guys who do that fake smiling thing while they actually are screwing you. Third, almost every thought in my head eventually comes roaring out of my mouth. Fourth, I really do hate the cable industry. Fifth, I don’t think that cell tower companies should be able to just place their ugly cell towers anywhere they want. Sixth, I believe the government should do broadband deployment because the free market system has done such a lousy job of it. Seventh, I believe in media democracy. Eighth, I don't care if you think you are important you have to earn my respect. Ninth, I’m a lot more fun than most of the people I have met in Washington. I could go on and on about why I am the perfect choice for the next FCC Commissioner, but I do need to retain a modicum of modesty.

I urge you to call, write or email, your representatives today and let them know that Bunnie Riedel should be the next FCC Commissioner. I’ll be setting up a website soon to take small donations for my campaign; cash, check or credit card. Send me to Washington and I guarantee you there will be “change.” You can count on it.

[1] Do we all remember that Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania did everything in his power to prevent Public access in Philly when he was mayor?

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