Statement of Gigi Sohn
Last night after discussions with my family and careful consideration, I made the decision to ask
President Biden to withdraw my nomination to the Federal Communications Commission. When
I accepted his nomination over sixteen months ago, I could not have imagined that legions of
cable and media industry lobbyists, their bought-and-paid-for surrogates, and dark money
political groups with bottomless pockets would distort my over 30-year history as a consumer
advocate into an absurd caricature of blatant lies. The unrelenting, dishonest and cruel attacks
on my character and my career as an advocate for the public interest have taken an enormous
toll on me and my family.
Unfortunately, the American people are the real losers here. The FCC deadlock, now over two
years long, will remain so for a long time. As someone who has advocated for my entire career
for affordable, accessible broadband for every American, it is ironic that the 2-2 FCC will remain
sidelined at the most consequential opportunity for broadband in our lifetimes. This means that
your broadband will be more expensive for lack of competition, minority and underrepresented
voices will be marginalized, and your private information will continue to be used and sold at
the whim of your broadband provider. It means that the FCC will not have a majority to adopt
strong rules which ensure that everyone has nondiscriminatory access to broadband, regardless
of who they are or where they live, and that low income students will continue to be forced to
do their school work sitting outside of Taco Bell because universal service funds can’t be used
for broadband in their homes. And it means that many rural Americans will continue the long
wait for broadband because the FCC can’t fix its Universal Service programs.
It is a sad day for our country and our democracy when dominant industries, with assistance
from unlimited dark money, get to choose their regulators. And with the help of their friends in
the Senate, the powerful cable and media companies have done just that.
I want to thank President Biden for his faith in me and for my champions in the Senate who
defended me at every turn. I especially want to thank the dozens of people who volunteered
their time and energy to help me through this process, as well as the over 400 organizations,
companies and trade associations, and hundreds of thousands of individuals who registered
their support with the Senate. I will forever be grateful for their efforts on my behalf.
I hope the President swiftly nominates an individual who puts the American people first over all
other interests. The country deserves nothing less.
- radio time
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