Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, the only Senate Democrat who has not co-sponsored legislation to restore net neutrality, reportedly has financial ties to a super PAC directed by a lobbyist for Comcast, a fervent opponent of open internet protections.
Sludge‘s Donald Shaw reported Thursday that a possible reason behind Sinema’s refusal to join her Democratic colleagues in backing the Save the Internet Act “may be her relationship with a ‘dark money’ nonprofit called Center Forward that receives substantial funding from cable and telecom industry trade groups and its affiliated super PAC, Center Forward Committee, which is run by a Comcast lobbyist.”
“Sinema directed a six-figure donation to Center Forward Committee through a centrist PAC that she used to chair just weeks before the group made big independent expenditures to support Sinema’s campaigns,” according to Shaw.
“I have zero questions about why Sinema is doing what she’s doing. It’s all about the money. She could score easy political points with her constituents by supporting net neutrality, but she’s made a calculated decision to appease her big cable donors instead.”
—Evan Greer, Fight for the Future
Telecom industry lobbying groups have given Center Forward “substantial and consistent donations,” Sludge found in a review of tax documents.
Sinema has also benefited from direct campaign contributions from the telecom industry.
“So far this year, Sinema’s campaign has received contributions from the PACs of AT&T ($2,000), Verizon ($1,000), and Cox ($2,500), as well as $1,500 from Comcast vice president of federal government affairs Melissa Maxfield,” Shaw reported. “She also received $5,000 each from the PACs of Comcast, NCTA, and Charter through her ‘Getting Stuff Done’ leadership PAC in the second quarter of 2019.”
News of Sinema’s industry connections came as no surprise to Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, a digital rights group that targeted the Arizona Democrat earlier this year over her opposition to the Save the Internet Act.
In March, Fight for the Future crowdfunded a billboard in Phoenix, Arizona that accused Sinema of “siding with corporate donors to kill net neutrality.”
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT