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Local politicians received money from cable-affiliated PACs

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As an FCC vote that could put an end to net neutrality nears, The New Political tracked money received by Ohio congressional officials by cable-affiliated PACs.

An FCC vote that critics have accused of repealing net neutrality is set to take place next week on Thursday, Dec. 14.

Activist organizations like Fight for The Future have encouraged those concerned about net neutrality to get in contact with their congressional representatives in the weeks leading up to the FCC vote. Internet communities like the subreddit r/NetNeutraility have been using the platform to air their grievances with the FCC’s plan and to comment on money congressional representatives have received from the cable industry, a major supporter of the FCC’s plan.

The New Political used OpenSecrets.org, a website that tracks the money flowing through the U.S. political system, to report on Ohio congressional representatives’ contributions from PACs affiliated with cable companies. The New Political also used Battle for the Net’s scoreboard to determine where Ohio congressional representatives stand.

Note: Data is from 2017-2018 for Representatives, and 2013-2018 for Senators

To begin with, cable-affiliated PACs spent $168,500 on Ohio congressional representatives. AT&T contributed the most, at $32,500 contributed, or around 19 percent of all the money given to Ohio congressional representatives from cable affiliated PACs. AT&T also gave to 11 out of the 18 Ohio Congressional representatives, more than any other cable company that contributed.

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green), who opposes net neutrality, received the most money from cable affiliated PACs at $50,500. He also received the largest individual contribution, $10,000 from the American Cable Association.

Net Neutrality
Graphic by Sarah Horne.

Money donated to those who are undecided on the issue of net neutrality came out to $36,500 total. This equates to around 22 percent of the money spent in total by cable-affiliated PACs. An average of $6,083 per candidate was spent by cable companies on those who are undecided.

For those who have indicated that they are against net neutrality, seven Republican representatives, $99,500 was spent by cable PACs. This accounts for around 59 percent of all the money spent by cable affiliated PACs. Cable companies spent, on average, $14,214 per candidate that is against net neutrality.

Those who support net neutrality, while in the minority in Ohio, received $32,500 from cable PACs, or around 19 percent of money spent by the PACs. On average, $6,500 was spent per candidate that supports net neutrality.

Net Neutrality
Graphic by Sarah Horne.

In the coming days, Fight for the Future has protests planned for this Friday, Dec. 7, around the country to protest the FCC’s plan.

The FCC’s plan will be voted on next week if the vote is not delayed as some Senators have called for in recent days after it was revealed that a number of public comments on the FCC’s plan were fraudulent.

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