I think all newly-elected legislators ought to be required to take a seminar on "What are astroturf groups, what do they do, and how are they funded?" before they are allowed to vote on legislation. You would think legislators would start to recognize these phony (no pun intended) efforts for what they are after a while, just as many of us can figure out which of our incoming e-mail messages are likely to be spam the minute we see the subject lines.
And I still say the USF is nothing but corporate welfare that ought to be abolished post haste!
A few weeks ago, a group dubbed the "Keep Universal Service Fund (USF) Fair" Coalition congratulated FCC Commissioner Martin on his new post, suggested the USF fees you pay be increased 40%, and that VoIP service should be taxed. The group insists such a move would be a boon to seniors, hispanics, families with disabilities, and consumers. Unfortunately, as Techdirt and the IP list
note, the group is just another PR front outfit funded by the bell telephone companies, orchestrated by the controversial Bell PR agency Issue Dynamics.
Bruce Kushnick consistently tracks such Bell efforts to convince consumers to support initiatives that often are against their best interests (higher fees, higher taxes, less competition). Usually by operating through groups with very pro-consumer sounding names.
Take a peek at the website , which proclaims "more than 70,000 consumers have visited the coalition?s website and filed comments with the FCC."
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