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David Hatch of spots Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) circulating a letter pushing broadband regulation ghostwritten by a lobbyst:
A letter that Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., is circulating on Capitol Hill expressing gushing support for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s controversial proposal to subject broadband to tougher regulation wasn’t written by the congressman.
How do we know? Digital fingerprints left by the author, Ben Scott, policy director of Free Press, a media watchdog.
It’s common knowledge that advocacy groups and corporations routinely craft letters and even legislation for lawmakers. But it’s not every day they leave behind a trail of evidence confirming the link. Such is the case with Scott, who forgot to scrub the so-called “metadata” — yeah, I’d never heard of this either — listing him as the author of the correspondence making the rounds on the Hill.
Such information can be found by going to “file” and then “properties” on an electronic document. Inslee wants to gather the signatures of supportive members by COB Wednesday before sending the letter to Genachowski.
“As legislators committed to expanding access to open, affordable, world-class broadband networks,” reads the document, authored by someone who’s never held elected office, “we have a very strong interest in promoting policies that can support these goals.”
It’s said he didn’t just get caught, but he also claimed to have written the letter himself, despite an electronic signature indicating otherwise. Don’t these guys get paid to do actual work? And should they really be letting lobbyists do it for them? I thought Democrats hated lobbyists? Hmm.