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Ebbin Blasts Cuccinelli on Net Neutrality

by ARLnow.com June 27, 2011 at 11:06 am 2,899 30 Comments

Del. Adam Ebbin (D) is no fan of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s (R) legal crusades.

Ebbin, who’s running for state Senate, has released a statement blasting Cuccinelli for his latest high-profile legal saber rattling: a plan to sue the Federal Communications Commission in a challenge to “net neutrality” policies.

Net neutrality is a principle that seeks to prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from treating certain internet content different from other content. For instance, net neutrality would prevent an ISP from blocking popular but bandwidth-hogging video streaming web sites like Netflix and YouTube. The FCC adopted a set of net neutrality-inspired regulations in December.

Cuccinelli, who as Attorney General has filed lawsuits over health care reform and climate change, says he will try to gather support from other state attorneys general to sue the FCC, calling net neutrality “most egregious of all violations of federal law.”

Ebbin, in response, is released a statement calling net neutrality “common sense” and calling Cuccinelli “an embarrassment to our Commonwealth.”

“His extremist campaigns against clean air, against a woman’s right to choose, against union workers and against net neutrality are not what the people of Virginia want or need from their Attorney General,” Ebbin said. “Ken Cuccinelli doesn’t understand that today’s emerging businesses depend on an open and free Internet to allow them to innovate and grow. He’s willing to risk our economic future to advance his partisan agenda.”

  • TGEoA

    Plain old grandstanding by Ebbin. I like how he threw in abortions and unions into that statement.

    • doodly

      So? Cooch is a loon. This is just another example. Ebbin is right to say it and right to mention Cooch’s other ridiculous actions.

      • TGEoA

        I don’t necessarily agree with Cooch on the baby killing issue, or inviting criminal union thugs into the Commonwealth. But if it gets you style points, go for it.

        • brif

          Don’t you think style points might equal votes?

          • PhilL

            If you are talking about in the primary, I guess. If they turn it into a contest of who can hate on Cuccinelli more, it pretty much boils down to only style. I have to imagine all of Ebbin’s opponents hate all of Cuccinelli’s positions, and probably his very existence, equally.

        • Justin Russo

          “Baby killing” and “criminal union thugs”? LOL. Sounds like Cuccinelli isn’t the only loon.

      • clarification?

        So on Arlnow, an anonymous user isn’t allowed to personally attack another anonymous user, yet one can slander a public figure? Not quite sure I follow that logic.

        • Clear?

          It is our First Amendment right to talk about public figures any way we like, fascist.

        • Thes

          @clarification: Slander (saying something damaging, when one knows it is false, or uses reckless disregard as to its falsity) of a public figure is NOT protected by the first Amendment, and should not be protected on this Blog.

          • Webster

            That’s cute, Mr. Internet Lawyer, but nobody has been slandered here.

  • GS24-7

    Does anybody honestly think a candidate in this primary WON’T take on Cuccinelli and his craziness? Just ridiculous grandstanding.

  • PikerShorts

    I didn’t realize Cuccinelli was so against Net Neutrality. That’s troubling.

  • Jim

    “Net neutrality is a principal . . .” Are we sure it isn’t a superintendent (or an assistant principal)?

  • KalashniKEV

    I <3 the Cooch.

    I hope he sues the entire FCC out of existence.

    • DSS10

      The FCC is your friend. Cuccinelli is not working in your best intrest. I don’t think he would even piss on you if you were on fire.

    • Eponymous Coward

      And when Comcast or Verizon cuts a deal to block your access to redstate.com, you can <3 him for that too.

      • KalashniKEV

        I’ll switch providers just like everyone else. It’s called Capitalism. We don’t need government interference in the market. The whole opposition to net neutrality is based on a false argument- if you restrict access, you lose business to someone who doesn’t. It’s simple.

        • Eponymous Coward

          Are you really sure that capitalism have provided you options in the internet service market?

          Much of Arlington can’t even switch from Comcast to FIOS, because FIOS isn’t available where they live. Don’t assume because you get the ads that they can actually give you the service. And as far as areas go, we’re lucky. In less affluent areas, choice isn’t even on the horizon. People are captive.

          One in five Americans only has 1 option only – in other words, there is no “market”, any more than you can switch electricity providers. And for the other 80%, many only have 2 choices — including dialup. But if a duopoly including a 28.8K modem dialup is your idea of choice, then, yes, you might have alternatives. RedState should load up for you in time for the election.

          (P.S. I don’t think your last sentence says what you want it to say.)

          • KalashniKEV

            I don’t see what regulatory solution you propose… are you saying that net neutrality would fix this situation? How?

            Also, I even had FIOS when I was living in the ghetto on Columbia Pike… where in Arlington can you not get FIOS????

          • Kevin

            There are plenty of super affluent places in Arlington where fios is unavailable (or “non ghetto” as you seem to prefer the historically racial and discriminatory term). When I lived 2 blocks from Ballston metro fios was not an option.

            Besides you’re missing the point – all net neutrality does is make sure that all businesses involved in the Internet (websites, ISPs, etc) have an equal playing field. Why do conservatives not support this? It’s the government making sure the industry stays open and free…like free markets…the only reason to oppose it, as republican lawmakers do, is because they take hugs amounts of campaign funding dollars from Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T. Not saying democrats don’t, but at least they are not letting that influence their position here.

          • SOARL

            This issue is WAY more complicated than you frame here. The 2nd Circuit already ruled that the FCC has no authority to regulate the Internet because it has not been granted such authority by Congress. The FCC is going to be sued anyways but they can’t file until the FCC prints the rules in the federal register. Six months after the rules passed the Commission… they have still not been submitted. Plus, there are other issues involving the takings clause, transparency issues, etc. Also, there is huge money on the pro-net neutrality side, too. So, the issue is not as one-sided or simple as you assume.
            Regardless, I have no idea why Cuccinelli thinks he has a role to play in this.

          • Webster

            Seems like suing the FCC is pretty popular these days. Let the olds at the FCC explain their silly nannyism of the airwaves.

  • Vinh An Nguyen


    Hong Kong having 1Gbps to the home is not news, the lower price is the News.

    I have seen this same HK provider, Hong Kong Broadband selling 1Gbps for over four years now. The priced used to be around $150/month.

    Now when you tell a US Telco about this truly broadband offering of 1 Gbps, they say, “well you see the US is geographically so spread out that the costs are much higher….blah, blah, blah”

    Well Verizon answer me this question, “why isn’t New York City, which is densely populated like Hong Kong, the “Shangri La” of Broadband Internet?” why isn’t New York the first to offer 1 Gbps to the home?

    The US has dropped from #1 in the World in the Internet and broadband (we invented them) instead we have dropped to between 25th to 30th in the World, depending on who compiles the numbers.

    Comcast and Verizon don’t need to invest in big time broadband since it’s is so much cheaper and easier to bribe or intimidate with fear of electoral defeat, your favorite politician or political party!

    We own and run usenet servers in Hong Kong and the U S and have Hong Kong residents downloading at over 900 Mbps from our cluster in HK. There is nothing like this in backward corrupt USA.

    Check out what I say. It is unfortunate for us and the US.

  • Westover

    Two blow hards from opposite ends of the political spectrum. But, the fact is, Cuccinelli was elected fairly to his position and he is doing what the people who voted for him excepted him to do. Ebbin seems not to understand this or how the free market works. That said, the internet was created by the federal government and thus there is an expectation of some free/equal access to all. The net Nutrality law is not well written, but it is what it is.

  • The FCC has no jurisdiction over the internet. The courts have said so. They went ahead and did it anyway in violation of the 10th amendment.

    • Eponymous Coward

      Tenth Amendment? So, if you think its a violation of the Tenth Amendment, that means you think the regulating interstate telecommunications is a power reserved to the states?


      I don’t know what misinformed talking points you found that in, but you need a better source. You can argue about whether net neutrality is unconstitutional, but even its harshest critics don’t suggest it is unconstitutional because it violates the 10th Amendment.

      When Verizon (unsuccessfully) challenged the FCC this year, do you know how many times they mentioned the 10th Amendment?


      For better or worse, the 10th Amendment is practically dead. Its major role these days is being trotted out at Tea Party meetups, like William Shatner at Star Trek conventions.

      When the Supreme Court relied on it in the chemical weapons case this year, all the constitutional law professors cheered, just because it was like they’d finally found Waldo in a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ picture. They were like, “look, there it is! See, I told you we would find it eventually.”

  • MC

    Cuccinelli’s job is supposed to be to interpret and uphold state laws, not pick fights with federal laws he doesn’t like. The FCC governs interstate commerce in telecommunications, and there is no states rights issue for Cuccinelli to have a say about. He should be recalled for failing to carry out his responsibilities as state attorney general when he instead focuses on national policies in a blatant effort to seek national elected office.

    • dk


  • Civic Activist

    I am in favor of net neutrality — we should not charge former Congressman Weiner more per pixil for his tweets. Cheap pornography for the people!!!


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