Join CFIF Corporate Counsel and Senior Vice President Renee Giachino today from 4:00 p.m. CDT to 6…
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This Week's "Your Turn" Radio Show Lineup

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 -  Justin Johnson, Senior Policy Analyst for Defense Budgeting Policy at The Heritage Foundation:  Military Readiness;

4:15 CDT/5:15 pm EDT - Trey Kovacs: Policy Analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute:  Obama's New Overtime Rule;

4:30 CDT/5:30 pm EDT - Ari Cohn, Legal and Advocacy Officer at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:  Free Speech on College Campuses;

5:00 CDT/6:00 pm EDT - Tzvi Kahn, Senior Policy Analyst at the Foreign…[more]

May 23, 2016 • 01:34 pm

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Press Releases
Citing Backlog of Public Comments, Over 30 Organizations Call on FCC to Extend Pending Comment Periods and Refrain from Rulemakings Print E-mail
Friday, May 20 2016

Citing a massive backlog of unpublished public comments, the Center for Individual Freedom this week joined with more than 30 organizations on a coalition letter, led by Protect Internet Freedom (PIF), urging the FCC to extend pending comment periods and refrain from all rulemakings impacted by problems with the Commission's electronic comment filing system (ECFS). 

"On May 12, an FCC spokesperson admitted the agency faced a backlog of 74,000 comment filings across all of the FCC’s proceedings. These backlogs are expected to exist until the implementation of a new electronic filing system," the letter notes. 

"Comments are the public’s opportunity to influence the actions of a powerful government agency," the letter continues. "When that opportunity is stifled or restricted, steps must be taken to ensure that the voices of all Americans are sufficiently heard in the context of the FCC’s proceedings."

Read the entire letter below and read PIF's release on the effort here.

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May 19, 2016

Dear Chairman Wheeler and Commissioners Clyburn, Rosenworcel, Pai, and O'Rielly:

We, the undersigned organizations, write to express our concern regarding the backlog of public comments submitted to the Federal Communication Commissions’ electronic comment filing system (ECFS).

Additionally, as a result of the delays, we respectfully request that the comment periods for ongoing dockets be extended so that every comment submitted during the existing period can be posted and given adequate time for public consideration.

On May 12, an FCC spokesperson admitted the agency faced a backlog of 74,000 comment filings across all of the FCC’s proceedings. These backlogs are expected to exist until the implementation of a new electronic filing system.

This backlog was exposed following the revelation by Protect Internet Freedom that more than 2,200 public comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding broadband consumer privacy regulations remained unposted more than two weeks after their submission to the FCC.

Initially, the FCC claimed it was unaware that the comments were filed. A day later, when Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) asked Chairman Wheeler about the delay in posting the comments during a hearing by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and Law, Wheeler stated that the comments were not posted as a result of a "software glitch.” Finally, the agency admitted to a horrendous backlog on the ECFS system that is affecting several major decisions currently pending at the agency.

Public comments are a vital component to FCC rulemaking efforts. The comments inform, educate, and guide commissioners. They also inject an important layer of transparency and accountability into agency proceedings.
The FCC’s delay in posting comments is unavoidably limiting the length of time those remarks are available to the public, thereby reducing the potential reach and impact of the comments.

The delay also gives the unfortunate impression that the FCC is actively silencing Americans who oppose the agency’s actions. While we assume this is not the case, it is important for the FCC to understand this concern.

As a result, it is incumbent on the FCC to extend the existing comment periods until the backlog is resolved and comments are posted.

There is precedent for the FCC to grant such a delay. In 2014, when the ECFS was overwhelmed by comments in response to the FCC’s net neutrality proposal, the agency agreed to extend the comment period.

Comments are the public’s opportunity to influence the actions of a powerful government agency. When that opportunity is stifled or restricted, steps must be taken to ensure that the voices of all Americans are sufficiently heard in the context of the FCC’s proceedings.

Consequently, we respectfully request that the comment periods be extended for all proceedings being impacted by the FCC’s overwhelmed electronic comment filing system.

Additionally, we encourage the FCC to redouble its efforts to ensure that comments are posted in a timely and public manner in the future so that they may have the opportunity to inform commissioners, influence public discourse, and enhance the dialogue surrounding the important decisions undertaken by the agency and its commissioners.

Sincerely,

Maurice Thompson
1851 Center for Constitutional Law

Justin Owen
Beacon Center of Tennessee

Mark Bucher
California Policy Center

Jeffrey Mazzella
Center for Individual Freedom

Alvin Quiñones
Center for Integrity and Public Policy

Tom Schatz
Citizens Against Government Waste

Col. Francis X. De Luca USMCR(Ret)
Civitas Institute

Ryan Radia 
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Robert Roper
Ethan Allen Institute

Richard Lorenc
Foundation for Economic Education

Tarren Bragdon
Foundation for Government Accountability

Wayne Brough, PhD
FreedomWorks Foundation

John Tillman
Illinois Policy Institute

Andrew Langer
Institute for Liberty

Tom Giovanetti
Institute for Policy Innovation

Seton Motley
Less Government

Mat Staver
Liberty Counsel

Matthew Gagnon
The Maine Heritage Policy Center

Pete Sepp
National Taxpayers Union

Sharon Rossie
Nevada Policy Research Institute

Andrew Hemingway
New Hampshire Center for Economic Policy

Kevin P. Kane
Pelican Institute for Public Policy

Drew Johnson
Protect Internet Freedom

Paul Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Judson Phillips
Tea Party Nation

Berin Szoka
TechFreedom

Mike Thompson
Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

 


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Armed Forces Day is observed annually on the third Saturday in May. When was the first Armed Forces Day celebrated?
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"On May 10, the Arizona Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that could provide a roadmap to eliminate a persistent form of government waste in nearly all 50 states.At issue is the practice of union release time, which allows government employees paid time off to conduct union activity unrelated to their job duties or any public purpose. The wasteful practice occurs in a majority of state…[more]
 
 
—Trey Kovacs, Competitive Enterprise Institute
— Trey Kovacs, Competitive Enterprise Institute
 
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