The Tea Party’s opposition to net neutrality has been well-documented. But as midterm elections approach, the party’s getting a considerable amount of well-funded help to make their case against formal government regulation of broadband Internet by the Federal Communications Commission.
On Monday, the conservative Heartland Institute released its new manual, called “The Patriots Toolbox.” The book bills itself as a public policy guide for “patriot-activists” and politicians. Along with giving tips on everything from health care to energy policy, the manual has an entire section devoted to telecommunications.
“A truly ‘free’ and ‘open’ Internet is one free of bureaucratic meddling and a top-down “net neutrality” regime,” the authors explain.
The chapter includes a list of 10 major points for Tea Party activists to use when discussing communications policy.
“Oppose network neutrality regulations,” it reads. “Attempts to legislate network neutrality risk a repeat of the disaster caused by the Telecom Act of 1996.”
It’s a curious position, since many on the left have criticized the 1996 Act for allowing large-scale media consolidation.
The Hill points out that the Heartland Institute is a non-profit based in Chicago that supports free-market thinking. Though it doesn’t disclose its donors, it does acknowledge taking corporate donations, and pro-net neutrality group Free Press has previously reported that the Institute’s bankrolled several major telecommunications companies.