Anatomy of a Successful Public Lobbying Campaign

In advance of Thursday’s scheduled promulgation of rules by the chairman of the FCC proposing to treat broadband providers as “utilities” (a formal vote by the commission will probably occur later this month), Politico’s Boliek, Byers and Duryea have an interesting backgrounder on how said chairman, Tom Wheeler, a former telecomm lobbyist, came to this position.

You can read the whole thing, but the upshot is that Wheeler was initially determined to go in a very different direction, but then extremely persistent lobbying by net neutrality advocates, aimed at both Wheeler and the president, eventually turned the latter around and then the former. At this point anything other than the direction Wheeler has chosen would most definitely anger his boss.

It’s as good an example as any of how now and then a powerful industry lobby can actually lose an important fight–even if someone deemed “one of their own” is in charge.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.