Friday, 19 December 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG
  • Homeless People: Do You Just "Walk On By"?

    Is there a helpful way to respond when you encounter one of the approximately 578,424 people who are homeless on any given night in the United States today?

  • Quiet Distress Among the (Ex) Rich

    Yves Smith: The fact that economic distress has moved pretty high up the food chain is a sign that this recovery isn't all that it is cracked up to be.

Rep. Lamar Smith Cashes In With SOPA Supporters, Easily Wins

Friday, 01 June 2012 10:29 By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report

Rep. Lamar SmithRep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). (Photo: Ryan J. Reilly / Flickr)Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) took some heat earlier this year when a popular online uprising helped defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) he championed, but Smith's effort to push the bill through Congress has still had an apparent payoff for the longtime incumbent. Smith easily won a primary victory in his Texas district this week after significantly out fundraising both of his opponents with the help of the same industry groups and media conglomerates that lobbied for SOPA.

Smith won 76 percent of the primary votes and raised $1.3 million, about 21 times the amount of cash that opponents Richard Morgan and Richard Mack raised combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). Smith's major donors included the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the media conglomerates Comcast, Time Warner and Clear Channel, all of which actively lobbied for SOPA.

Internet Activists Defeat SOPA

SOPA and its Senate companion PIPA were aimed at cracking down on foreign counterfeiting and the illegal distribution of copyrighted material online, but critics said the bills were an unprecedented threat to Internet freedom that would have allowed the government and big corporations to crush independent web sites that may unknowingly host copyrighted material.

Massive online protests and a one-day blackout strike by popular sites like Wikipedia and Reddit eroded support for both bills in Congress, and the defeat of SOPA and PIPA earlier this year marked a big victory for Internet freedom advocates.

Smith Raked In Cash From SOPA Supporters

Among Smith's major donors were top executives of the Clear Channel Communications conglomerate, who donated $18,300 to Smith's campaign. Clear Channel hired Joseph Gibson, Representative Smith's former chief of staff, to lobby for SOPA, the CRP reported. Smith also received $10,363 in individual donations from employees of Express Scripts, a health services company that also hired Gibson to lobby for SOPA. The company's political action committee (PAC) contributed another $10,000.

Comcast and Time Warner, which lobbied heavily on SOPA and PIPA, donated $5,000 and $6,000 to Smith's campaign respectively. Smith received a combined $10,000 from the RRIA and the National Association of Broadcasters.

A PAC formed by SOPA opponents and Reddit.com users to weaken Smith's re-election campaign raised $18,500 to pay for mailers, television ads and a billboard near San Antonio.

The CRP called the fundraising disparity between Smith and his Republican primary opponents "the latest display of the benefits of incumbency" and reported that current House members have raised an average of $1 million while their opponents have raised an average about $140,000.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Mike Ludwig

Mike Ludwig is a Truthout reporter. Follow Mike on Twitter @ludwig_mike.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
GET DAILY TRUTHOUT UPDATES

FOLLOW togtorsstottofb


Error
  • JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 54

Rep. Lamar Smith Cashes In With SOPA Supporters, Easily Wins

Friday, 01 June 2012 10:29 By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report

Rep. Lamar SmithRep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). (Photo: Ryan J. Reilly / Flickr)Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) took some heat earlier this year when a popular online uprising helped defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) he championed, but Smith's effort to push the bill through Congress has still had an apparent payoff for the longtime incumbent. Smith easily won a primary victory in his Texas district this week after significantly out fundraising both of his opponents with the help of the same industry groups and media conglomerates that lobbied for SOPA.

Smith won 76 percent of the primary votes and raised $1.3 million, about 21 times the amount of cash that opponents Richard Morgan and Richard Mack raised combined, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP). Smith's major donors included the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the media conglomerates Comcast, Time Warner and Clear Channel, all of which actively lobbied for SOPA.

Internet Activists Defeat SOPA

SOPA and its Senate companion PIPA were aimed at cracking down on foreign counterfeiting and the illegal distribution of copyrighted material online, but critics said the bills were an unprecedented threat to Internet freedom that would have allowed the government and big corporations to crush independent web sites that may unknowingly host copyrighted material.

Massive online protests and a one-day blackout strike by popular sites like Wikipedia and Reddit eroded support for both bills in Congress, and the defeat of SOPA and PIPA earlier this year marked a big victory for Internet freedom advocates.

Smith Raked In Cash From SOPA Supporters

Among Smith's major donors were top executives of the Clear Channel Communications conglomerate, who donated $18,300 to Smith's campaign. Clear Channel hired Joseph Gibson, Representative Smith's former chief of staff, to lobby for SOPA, the CRP reported. Smith also received $10,363 in individual donations from employees of Express Scripts, a health services company that also hired Gibson to lobby for SOPA. The company's political action committee (PAC) contributed another $10,000.

Comcast and Time Warner, which lobbied heavily on SOPA and PIPA, donated $5,000 and $6,000 to Smith's campaign respectively. Smith received a combined $10,000 from the RRIA and the National Association of Broadcasters.

A PAC formed by SOPA opponents and Reddit.com users to weaken Smith's re-election campaign raised $18,500 to pay for mailers, television ads and a billboard near San Antonio.

The CRP called the fundraising disparity between Smith and his Republican primary opponents "the latest display of the benefits of incumbency" and reported that current House members have raised an average of $1 million while their opponents have raised an average about $140,000.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

Mike Ludwig

Mike Ludwig is a Truthout reporter. Follow Mike on Twitter @ludwig_mike.


Hide Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus