Cory Gardner and SOPA: A matter of dollars and more dollars
Cory Gardner has not yet come out in favor of or against SOPA, the "Stop Online Piracy Act" that is getting quite a lot of attention these days. If you don't know about this bill, here's what the Electronic Frontier Foundation has to say about it:
As drafted, the legislation would grant the government and private parties unprecedented power to interfere with the Internet's domain name system (DNS). The government would be able to force ISPs and search engines to redirect or dump users' attempts to reach certain websites' URLs. ...
It gets worse: Under SOPA's provisions, service providers (including hosting services) would be under new pressure to monitor and police their users’ activities. ... SOPA targets websites that simply don’t do enough to track and police infringement (and it is not at all clear what would be enough). And it creates new powers to shut down folks who provide tools to help users get access to the Internet the rest of the world sees (not just the “U.S. authorized version”).
It's a whole lot of bad for the internet and people are rightfully getting up in arms about it. It does seem odd that Cory Gardner has not seen fit to say anything about the bill, either yea or nay. Well, it seems odd until you see how much money he's made off the thing.
According to maplight.org, Cory Gardner has received nearly $300,000 from groups advocating for this bill and a hair over $8,000 from groups opposing it. That's a 35:1 ratio of dollars supporting SOPA to those against. The average for all members of Congress is about 13:1, so Gardner is really raking it in from SOPA-supporting groups.
In pure dollar terms, Gardner's haul is only exceeded by Rep. Perlmutter ($472,000), who has received more than $65,000 from opponents of the bill also. Mike Coffman is the big winner in terms of the ration of supporting dollars to opposing dollars: $98,500 for vs. $1,300 against.
So if you are writing to Cory Gardner to find out his stance on the Stop Online Piracy Act, I wouldn't expect one. He won't make up his mind on this one until he is done suckling at the teets of those companies supporting the bill.
Responsible legislating and listening to the concerns of constituents aren't exactly Cory's specialties. The only thing he is great at is taking bribes contributions from special interest groups. Can't wait to see his next FEC reports...