Archive

Author Archive
May 18th, 2017 at 12:35 pm
CFIF Applauds FCC Vote to Advance NPRM to Restore Internet Freedom
Posted by CFIF Staff Print
ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, the Federal Communications Commission (”FCC”) voted to advance a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the “Restoring Internet Freedom” proposal championed by Chairman Ajit Pai and Commisser Mike O’Reilly that would return federal internet regulatory policy to the light-touch approach that prevailed from the 1990s onward, until the Obama Administration FCC moved to reclassify the internet as a “public utility” in 2015.

In response, Center for Individual Freedom (”CFIF”) Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs Timothy Lee issued the following statement:

“Beginning in the 1990s, the internet flourished and transformed our world like no innovation in history for a simple reason:  Administrations of both political parties over two decades, beginning with Clinton/Gore, wisely chose a ‘light touch’ regulatory approach to the internet.

“Then in 2015, the Obama Administration FCC suddenly and radically reversed two decades of bipartisan consensus by moving to reclassify internet service as a ‘public utility’ under laws enacted in 1934 to regulate old-fashioned copper-wire telephone service.

There was no justification for that sudden reversal, and it was not based upon evidence, law or logic.  The internet obviously wasn’t ‘broken’ or in need of heavy-handed federal regulatory ‘fix.’  It was merely a scheme to extend government control over yet another sector of our economy.

“Nor was reclassifying the internet as a ‘public utility’ something the American public supports.  A recent Morning Consult survey confirms that an overwhelming and bipartisan 78% of voters prefer little or no government regulation of the internet, with only 12% favoring a heavy-handed regulatory approach.  A broad 51% to 33% majority believes that the internet shouldn’t be regulated as a public utility, and a two-to-one majority agrees that regulating the internet as a utility slows innovation and decreases private tech investment.

“Unfortunately, the Obama Administration FCC’s decision to reclassify the internet as some sort of Depression-era ‘public utility’ had immediate negative consequences, confirming the public’s expectation.  Domestic broadband capital expenditures declined by 5.6%, or some $3.6 billion, which marked the first time that such investment declined outside of a recession during the internet era.  That applied to both large and small internet service providers.

“Proponents of heavy-handed internet regulation continue to employ irrational scare tactics and hyperbole in their effort to regulate the internet more heavily, but their claims are contradicted by straightforward history and logic.  All reasonable people agree that the internet should remain free and open, which was how the internet operated for two decades across administrations of both parties under the light-touch regulatory approach.

“Accordingly, today’s FCC vote simply advances the ball to restore the bipartisan, light-touch regulatory consensus that existed for more than two decades.  This is precisely the sort of common sense that is badly needed in Washington, and CFIF applauds FCC Chairman Pai and Commissioner O’Rielly for moving to restore the regulatory wisdom that the American public overwhelmingly prefers.”

###

April 26th, 2017 at 10:18 am
Nat’l Free-Market Orgs Urge Missouri Governor to Champion Public Sector Union Reforms
Posted by CFIF Staff Print
Today, a broad coalition made up of nearly two dozen of the nation’s largest and most influential free-market organizations, led by the Center for Individual Freedom (”CFIF”), sent a letter to Governor Eric Greitens congratulating him on Missouri becoming the 28th state to enact right-to-work legislation and urging him to go further by championing reforms to hold public sector unions accountable to their members and Missouri’s taxpayers at large.

The coalition of organizations pointed to the successful public sector union reforms championed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in 2011 and urged that, “Missouri has a real opportunity in 2017 to join Wisconsin in leading government union reform.”

Specifically, the organizations noted that “House Bill 251, a comprehensive government union reform package containing paycheck protection, regular recertification elections, union transparency requirements and prohibitions on union release time, is currently in the Senate and awaits final votes from both chambers” of the Missouri legislature.  The letter goes on to state, “As the legislative session quickly comes to a close, we urge you to help Missouri become the next state to see government union reform become a reality.”

“The reforms in House Bill 251 not only protect the rights of workers, but also bring immediate, demonstrable benefits to states enacting them, as Wisconsin’s recent example proves so vividly,” said Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs.

“With Governor Greitens’ leadership, House Bill 251 provides a real opportunity for Missouri to become a model for the rest of the nation in terms of holding government unions accountable to their members and taxpayers,” CFIF President Jeffrey Mazzella said. “We urge Governor Greitens to lead the way on this important issue.”

In addition to CFIF, the organizations making up the coalition include: American City County Exchange, American Commitment, American Conservative Union, Americans for Prosperity, Americans for Tax Reform, American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC Action, Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Center for Worker Freedom, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, Frontiers of Freedom, Institute for Liberty, Institute for Policy Innovation, Jeffersonian Project, Less Government, Missouri Club for Growth, National Taxpayers Union, 60 Plus Association, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, Taxpayers Protection Alliance and The Market Institute.

Read the letter here.

April 21st, 2017 at 1:23 pm
Podcast: Will Congress Roll the Dice to Prohibit Internet Gambling?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President for Legal and Public Affairs, discusses the 1951 federal Wire Act, internet sports betting and the history of state regulation of gambling across the country.

Listen to the interview here.

April 10th, 2017 at 12:32 pm
This Week’s “Your Turn” Radio Lineup
Posted by CFIF Staff Print
Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6:00 p.m. CDT (that’s 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. EDT) on Northwest Florida’s 1330 AM WEBY, as she hosts her radio show, “Your Turn: Meeting Nonsense with Commonsense.” Today’s guest lineup includes:

4:00 CDT/5:00 pm EDT: Megan Brown, Partner at Wiley Rein, LLP: Associate Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and His Confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT: Tzvi Kahn: Senior Iran Analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: Increased Sanctions on Iran and Foreign Policy;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT: Senator Doug Broxson, Florida Senate: 2017 Legislative Session;

4:45 CDT/5:45 pm EDT: Bruce Klingner, Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia at The Heritage Foundation: North Korea and Trump-Xi Summit;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT: William J. Conti, Partner at Baker & Hostetler: Syria, President Trump’s Approval Ratings, and Politics and Music; and

5:30 CDT/6:30 pm EDT: Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs: Internet Gambling and On-Line Privacy Laws.

Listen live on the Internet here. Call in to share your comments or ask questions of today’s guests at (850) 623-1330.

April 6th, 2017 at 10:21 am
Ramirez Cartoon: A Message from James Madison to Senate Democrats
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 31st, 2017 at 9:55 am
The Judicial Confirmation Circus
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Carrie Severino, Chief Counsel and Policy Director of the Judicial Crisis Network, discusses what may happen next with respect to Judge Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court and the predictable political posturing of Senate Democrats.

Listen to the interview here.

March 15th, 2017 at 11:18 am
“The Muslim Travel Ban”
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 1st, 2017 at 11:12 am
Ramirez Cartoon: And the winner is…
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

February 21st, 2017 at 8:42 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Mainstream Media Inc.
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

February 9th, 2017 at 10:21 am
CFIF Reiterates Concerns Re: Proposals to Restructure Nation’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) System
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In a letter sent to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee  members today, the Center for Individual Freedom reiterated its deep concerns regarding  proposals to restructure the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system.

In addition to pointing out ongoing concerns outlined in a coalition letter that was sent back in August, CFIF highlighted new concerns:

Since that letter, the Defense Department stated just last week that creating a separate new ATC organization “raises serious concerns.”  In its analysis, the Pentagon said, “The establishment of a new entity separate from the FAA raises serious concerns regarding the disposition of certain unique National Defense procedures, programs and policy.”  It noted, “It is significant to note that the DOD relies on FAA ‘command and control’ capabilities in the execution of the national defense mission.”

Additionally, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined last year that creation of a nonprofit ATC corporation would widen the federal budget deficit by $20 billion between 2017 and 2026, and increase net direct spending by an alarming $90 billion over that same period.  Separately, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) also determined that the proposed ATC restructuring may delay implementation of the NextGen air transportation system while necessary new safety oversight procedures were developed.

Read CFIF’s full letter here.

February 5th, 2017 at 10:05 am
The Pressing Opioid Epidemic
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Sally Satel, M.D., Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses how to treat America’s pressing opioid epidemic, mental health policies, and political trends in medicine.

Listen to the interview here.

January 31st, 2017 at 8:33 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Doing What He Promised…
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 28th, 2017 at 10:40 am
The Myth of the “Scandal-Free” Obama Administration
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Hans von Spakovsky, Senior Legal Fellow at the Heritage Foundation, discusses why it is disingenuous to deem the Obama presidency as “scandal-free,” how the myth has been perpetuated by the media and Mr. Obama’s penchant for secrecy.

Listen to the interview here.

January 24th, 2017 at 9:12 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Failed Policies
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 15th, 2017 at 11:18 am
Podcast: Obama’s Legacy
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Genevieve Wood, Senior Fellow in Communications at The Heritage Foundation and Senior Contributor at The Daily Signal, discusses President Obama’s failed legacy and broken promises in areas such as foreign policy, regulations, constitutional powers and the judiciary.

Listen to the interview here.

January 13th, 2017 at 2:37 pm
ObamaCare: Repeal and Replace, Not Repeal and Delay
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Sally Pipes, President and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, discusses the fate of ObamaCare, why Congress should not delay ObamaCare’s repeal and different options for its replacement.

Listen to the interview here.

January 10th, 2017 at 5:04 pm
CFIF Submits FOIA Requests on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Tribal Chairman’s sister previously worked at the White House and Department of Interior

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Over recent days, the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) has sent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to five government agencies seeking information on communications between officials at those agencies and Jodi Gillette, the sister of the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dave Archambault.

“There have been a lot of rumors about the backroom dealings that led to the Administration’s decision to not issue the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs.  “We would hope that the self-purported ‘most transparent Administration in history’ would provide the American people with the background and information that went into this important decision to halt an infrastructure project that had already been approved and was more than 90 percent complete.”

From the FOIA requests:

There is growing concern about the relationship between Dave Archambault II’s sister, Jodi Gillette, and the Obama Administration.  Mr. Archambault is the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) and a critic of the project.  Ms. Gillette is a former senior advisor to the President and Secretary of the Interior, and is currently a lobbyist on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux with Sonosky, Chambers, Chambers, Endreson & Perry, LLP.  We seek to ensure that Mr. Archambault and Ms. Gillette haven’t wielded improper influence over the Administration’s policies that have resulted in delays in the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline project

I request access to and copies of all records since February 1, 2016, related in any way to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Jodi Gillette. This request includes, but is not limited to, all emails, other correspondence, correspondence logs, records of meetings, records of appointments and visitor logs.

CFIF sent the FOIA requests to the Departments of Interior, Justice and Energy, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Army Corps of Engineers.

“Due to the scope of the project and the consequences of the Administration’s decision, we are currently reviewing other potential FOIA requests on the matter,” Mr. Lee added.

###

December 27th, 2016 at 9:02 am
NY Gov. Cuomo Administration Remains Unable to Defend Energy Boondoggle
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an op-ed published last week at The Daily Caller, CFIF Sr. Vice President Timothy Lee explains how New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Administration remains unable to defend its crony capitalist Clean Energy Standard (CES) against burgeoning bipartisan public opposition.

According to Mr. Lee:

Conspicuously, Cuomo Administration officials remain unable to defend the plan against burgeoning public opposition.  In a recent local television appearance, Cuomo’s Public Service Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman couldn’t justify the decision to provide billions of dollars in subsidies to upstate plants while simultaneously closing downstate plants, and she stubbornly refused to acknowledge the plan’s high costs.

Nuclear power remains a reliable domestic energy source that the United States can cleanly and safely utilize to a far greater extent.

Governor Cuomo’s crony capitalist CES scheme isn’t the way to go about it.  The growing bipartisan opposition movement is an encouraging sign, one that should confirm for New Yorkers of all political leanings that the plan should be rejected.

Read the entire op-ed here.

December 25th, 2016 at 10:11 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Obama’s Gift
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 13th, 2016 at 11:30 am
Withdrawing From Obama’s Climate Treaty
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Phil Kerpen, President of American Commitment, discusses why Donald Trump should allow the Senate to kill President Obama’s controversial global warming treaty, when a treaty is not a treaty and whether Obama may be his own worst enemy when it comes to regulations.

Listen to the interview here.