You cannot blame net neutrality advocates when they gave Assemblyman Miguel Santiago a piece of their minds.
Last week, a hearing was held at the California State Capitol regarding the amendments of Sen. Scott Wiener’s SB 822 and Sen. Kevin de Leon’s SB 460. Their proposed net neutrality bills should have collaborated with each other to strengthen net neutrality. Besides, one bill cannot pass without the other. But then the unexpected happened.
Californian residents and Democrat officials are confident enough that both net neutrality bills will be endorsed. However, such expectations vanished when Santiago turned down the merging of net neutrality bills. In fact, even House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sent a letter appealing to him to support the joining of two bills but to no avail.
According to Pelosi’s email, “It is our hope that the state legislature will find a solution to safeguard Californians from the Trump FCC’s misguided net neutrality decision and secure California’s rightful place as a national leader in the fight for an open internet for all.
The amendments to the California net neutrality bills have been ransacked even before it was heard in the Assembly. This, in turn, created anger and agitation among Californian residents and different groups of net neutrality proponents not to mention Democrat officials. As expected, Santiago faces numerous criticisms, even his family did not escape the scrutiny.
He, along with his family members entice online memes. His office was also overflowing with phone calls charging him of corruption and selling out to ISPs. It is worth noting that the Democratic chairman is receiving contributions worth more than $29,000 from telecom companies such as AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast.
Santiago said, “Public policy is often messy, it is complicated. It involves compromise and working through conflict. In the 36 hours since Wednesday’s hearing, Senator Wiener and I have spoken several times and met. We have hugged, laughed, and had frank conversations. He has pledged to keep moving his bill forward, and I have pledged, as Chair of the Committee responsible for this policy area, that I will continue the policy conversation on SB 822 to make it a strong bill that is truly legally defensible and will ensure that Californians have the best shot at net neutrality protections.”
The confrontation introduces the most recent turning point in the Democratic Party regarding political transparency. Chairman of the Party Eric Bauman tried to alleviate the pressure on Thursday by advising both Sen. Wiener and Santiago to collaborate with each other to come up with the appropriate solution. He did not criticize the decision of Santiago.
The Decenternet platform needs no joining net neutrality bills to implement and strengthen net neutrality. Aside from securing and championing free speech, it does not create a fast or slow lane and decide who will be placed on those categories. The system it uses has a stable connection, and consumers do not have to pay extra just to access other websites.
Meanwhile, Santiago’s rival Democrat Kevin Jang is taking advantage of his opponent’s bad reputation. He promised to pass a flawless net neutrality bill and not break it apart.