I write to support Congressman Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary for the open seat in the Massachusetts special election for the U.S. Senate.
There is a race in this primary, between Congressman Lynch and Congressman Markey, and while it may seem to most there are only slight differences in their leadership, I would argue that is not so.
My concern with Congressman Markey is his record since the mid 1970s, as he has helped to create a system that has left the poor and middle-class behind, while focusing on helping big business.
Congressman Markey, back in 1995-96, was the author of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that deregulated telecommunications companies across the nation, enabling them to operate with no oversight by a regulatory body, or at least, minimal oversight.
So you may ask, "How does this affect me?" If all were to research the ranking of penetration of broadband Internet access within the United States compared to the rest of the industrialized world, most would not be surprised to hear the U.S. is ranked 14th, below Korea and many other countries.
Prior to 1996, the telephone companies were monitored by a regulatory body that enforced good practices, such as service and technology, and held these telephone companies accountable, or approval of rate increases would be denied.
Most would have you believe that regulation is a poor practice, but when customers of these telephone companies pay through their bill the telephone companies’ taxes, someone or some official body should be responsible for overseeing good practices and fair distribution of services.
To this day (though the telephone companies are no longer regulated, or at least limited in the oversight practiced), the customers continue to pay the telephone company’s taxes -- the same dollar amount as the customers that have fiber optic services to their homes and businesses in Eastern Massachusetts -- yet these telephone companies can no longer be policed to equally disperse this technology in a fair manner, or any manner.
This telecommunications act that Congressman Markey authored stripped us of any possibility of receiving these services from the telephone company, and the solution to this problem is to have the state create a broadband initiative with an additional $76 million in taxpayer money to build a new network. But we already have and continue to pay the taxes that should have already built this network.
One more point: Take a look at some of Congressman Markey’s biggest contributors. You guessed it -- our nation’s top telephone companies.
The choice is easy: We can continue to support a system that only supports big business or we can put the people’s representative in office. Vote for Stephen Lynch. He compliments Sen. Elizabeth Warren and they will represent the citizens of our state in the manner we deserve.