For Franken and Klobuchar, does money from big media mean support for PIPA? [UPDATE]

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Franken and Klobuchar has received considerable financial support from the media industry.
It's a cliche, but true -- when trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of politics, you should follow the money. And in the case of Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken's support for the now-stalled PIPA legislation, the money trail appears to lead back to big media.

Campaign finance records indicate that big media companies have been huge supporters of both of our senators -- and big media, of course, stands to gain from PIPA through more stringent copyright regulations meant to wipe pirated content off the internet.

Could our senators' support for PIPA have been bought and paid for?

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Franken's top contributor since 2007 has been Time Warner, which has given more than $65,000 to his campaign committee. Media companies as a whole gave Franken a total of $904,568 during the same period, which is the third most he's received from any industry.

For her part, Klobuchar received over $23,000 from Time Warner and more than $205,000 from media as a whole, which is the fifth most from any industry. The center lists her as having received the third most of any senator from recorded music and music production interests.

In the wake of Wednesday's unprecedented online protests, all eight representatives from Minnesota's congressional delegation said they either don't support the House version of PIPA or are at least inclined not to support it. But while Franken and Klobuchar acknowledged the "concerns" of protesters, they indicated they're still interested in strengthening copyright protections for online media.

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Wikipedia was one of many internet heavyweights to protest PIPA on Wednesday.
MinnPost quoted a Klobuchar spokesman as saying:  
[Sen. Klobuchar] believes we need to address concerns being raised today and work out a compromise that balances free exchange on the Internet with stopping foreign piracy that hurts our economy.
Striking a similar note, Franken's spokesman said:
Sen. Franken has heard the concerns that many Minnesotans have voiced over the past few days about the PROTECT IP Act, and he believes we need to reach a compromise that will both keep the Internet free and open and protect American jobs.
The money Franken and Klobuchar have received from big media doesn't necessarily mean their support of PIPA was bought and paid for. After all, the correlation could just be a coincidence, or perhaps big media supports the senators because they're perceived as principled anti-piracy advocates. Franken, of course, has connections in the entertainment industry that go back decades, so it isn't surprising to learn that media interests strongly support him.

So while the claim that their support was bought and paid for involves a chicken-or-egg conundrum, the money trail leads back to big media. And where the money trail leads, the votes tend to follow.

:: UPDATE ::
An hour after this story was published, Klobuchar's D.C. office responded to a City Pages phone call seeking comment with the following statement from communications director Linden Zakula:
The senator's work on this issue starts with her roots. Her dad is a journalist and an author, and as a prosecutor she made combating white-collar fraud a priority and worked on legislation at the state level to go after the computer piracy issue long before she was in the U.S. Senate.
:: UPDATE 2 ::
A couple hours after the previous update, a spokesperson for Franken sent the City Pages the following statement on behalf of the senator:  
...there are millions of Americans whose livelihoods rely on strong protections for intellectual property: middle-class workers - most of them union workers - in all 50 states, thousands of them here in Minnesota, working in a variety of industries from film production to publishing to software development. If we don't protect our intellectual property, international criminals - as well as legitimate businesses like payment processors and ad networks - will continue to profit dishonestly from the work these Americans are doing every day. And that puts these millions of jobs at serious risk. That's reason enough to act. But these criminals are also putting Minnesota families in danger by flooding our nation with counterfeit products - not just bootleg movies and software, but phony medications and knockoff equipment for first responders.
See also:
-- Franken and Klobuchar on PIPA protests: We heard your concerns
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15 comments
johnny
johnny

Chris Dodd, former senator and President of the MPAA, has as much admitted that their congressional 'support' dollars are intended to be bribes.  His public admission was on a Fox News (yah, I know) segment and has been picked up by multiple web sites world-wide (see TechDirt).  whitehouse.gov has a petition process running, once they reach 25,000 signatories Something Has to be Done.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Anyone notice that the world is pissed at Amy and AL, and these spineless tools hide behind their spokespersons and staffers?Apparently they not versed in the laws they cosponsor, and therefore they need to educate themselves and prepare poll tested vague statements.

eMpTy Minds Radio
eMpTy Minds Radio

I am a supporter, very much so, of Al Franken.  I think he is a decent individual, incredibly sharp and in tune and I do believe he tries to genuinely do the right thing. 

That being said, I do question his stance in this internet legislation conundrum.  We have Michelle Bachmann on OUR side in this one and Franken against us?  HUH?  Strangeness.

I also feel it necessary to mention that the statement Franken's team "sent to City Pages" in regards to the story is kind of shitty.  Not because of its message, but because it is not a response to City Pages at all.  It is, in fact, a snippet that Team Franken sent to everyone on Al's email list or at least to those of us who wrote Franken to speak our mind on PIPA & SOPA.

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

I'm a content creator who voted for Al Franken and I have no clue why any content creator would support PIPA unless it would be someone chained to a Hollywood studio (like most of the American economy, a few writers get paid very, very, very well, and everyone else gets to suck rocks).

I understand Al's vote. He used to get paid very, very, very well for writing. Amy's vote? Yeah, add up the money and peer pressure and you'll sum up her support perfectly.

Get out
Get out

Klobuchar is a whore.  There's no better way I can think of saying it.  We elected her and she's been nothing but a hole for corporations to run a train on.  Franken isn't much better.

Maddyayn
Maddyayn

There's another great story in this article that City Pages should follow up on. Klobuchar is a piece of work when it comes to her press operation. Look into it. HUGE history of berating them for when Amy doesn't get her way. Amy never grew up. She is still Daddy Klobuchar's only child. A spoiled brat who simply must get her way. She is toxic to our politics.

Maddyayn
Maddyayn

There she goes. There she goes, again. Klobuchar got elected on her daddy's name. How rich that she invokes it on this issue. Klobuchar stands for absolutely nothing but her own ambition. She is everything that's wrong with politics.

Nick Antinozzi
Nick Antinozzi

Plain and simple: Big Brother and Big Media want us all to step away from our computers and back in front of our televisions. Free thinkers and speech are dangerous to both. SOPA and PIPA are about control, do we really need more government in our lives? And I'll tell you another four letter acronym that scares me: NDAA. Have you read the fine print on that bill? The old adage is true: Orwell was an optimist.

BlackWallStreet10mm
BlackWallStreet10mm

A great article that attempts to raise awareness of the common corruption that seems imbedded in the very fabric of our political system. It is a sad but apparent reality that our congressmen/women are bought and paid for, and the voters certainly do not hold the receipt. After the voters get them elected, they have no further obligations to them, and usually follow what their campaign contributing corporations want them to do; which is voting for PIPA and SOPA in this case. They are fake people who sell you fake concerns and politics. They have no intentions of doing anything in the favor of the American people.

 When the captain keeps steering us into an area that is shallow, it might be time to take the captain to the gallows.

Steve
Steve

PIPA would make it even easier for a party claiming copyright to have content removed from websites or taken down by providers like YouTube and Facebook. The "notice and take down provisions" of the DCMA already chill fair use free speech, for news gathering, comment and criticism, and parody.

DCMA flips the burden of proof on its head, making a party establish its right to the First Amendment. Many readers here are familiar with the Dump Bachmann blog, which collected and published a lot of material of the gay hate preacher and metal "musician" Bradlee Dean. Clearly fair use, but YouTube shut down a couple of Dump Bachmann accounts at the behest of Dean.PIPA is a giant step in the wrong direction. When Al Franken coos about "net neutrality," your response should be a hollow, derisive laugh.

Shanana
Shanana

I don't think Amy's vote was based on contributions.  She's in favor of every nanny state nag rule she can find.

green23
green23

 Exactly! The DMCA is bad enough, but PIPA / SOPA is DMCA squared.

Screwing around with the DNS infrastructure will break the internet. And it will not take long for "alternative nameservers" to spring up, which will circumvent the manipulation of DNS in the first place.

Right now, under the DMCA, you can write something original and put it on the internet, and *anyone* can claim it's really *their* work and send a take-down notice to your provider. And it will be immediately removed, because your provider is NOT going to go to court over the matter.

An analogy: people steal cars, and that's bad. So maybe we should write a law that says if anyone simply claims that *your* car is really *their* car (without showing ANY proof at all), that car should be taken away from you and impounded forever. Sure, it's stupid and unfair, but car theft is BAD! Anything that "stops" car theft is therefore "good". Millions of Minnesotans own cars, after all, so anything done to "protect" them is great, right?

Franken and Klobuchar will not get another dime of my campaign contributions. I worked for the Klobuchar campaign effort, and that will not happen again.

Look, our laws cannot control what happens in another country. Similarly, other countries cannot invoke their laws on us. The U.S. controls the root nameservers, but that only works because other countries use those root nameservers. They can just start up their own root machines. Do we really want a world with hundreds of different "internets", all using different root nameservers?

pizza
pizza

Sounds like you're starting to get it. Ron Paul is lookin a lot better now, huh?

pizza
pizza

Textbook desperation play. You can't beat me in an argument, so you stoop so low as to call me racist, when in all actuality your white guilt is racist against your own, and your support of everything Obama is racist against people of color. Face it michelle, you suck really bad. You'd be better off sticking to the sports and entertainment blogs.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

What a surprise a racist loves Ron Paul.  That's why normal people don't like Ron Paul pizza, people like you.    If you publish a racist newsletter for like 30 years you don't get to be President.  It kinda marks you as unqualfied.   You wouldn't know this since you are a stupid racist.  

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