Fate of FCC nominee Gigi Sohn — and ‘net neutrality’ — may depend on Georgia runoff

Sources told On The Money that prospects for Gigi Sohn, a controversial nominee for the Federal Communications Commission and a major advocate of restoring “net neutrality” rules that once governed the internet, could hinge on the outcome in the Georgia Senate race.

Insiders claim Sohn, a progressive activist who has attracted skepticism from Republicans because she supported “defund the Police” movements and co-founded an advocacy organization funded by billionaire George Soros, is more likely to win a vote for her nomination if Rafael Warnock, a Democrat, wins the Tuesday runoff for Georgia’s US Senate seat. Sohn’s candidacy could also be withdrawn if Herschel Walker wins.

If Warnock wins, Democrats would have a 51 to 49 Senate majority. Sources say that Joe Manchin, West Virginia senator, is the only Democrat still opposed to nominee Gigi Sohn. The extra vote will allow the Republicans to block the nomination.

Biden must get a vote on the nomination held this month. Sources said that Biden would need to nominate Sohn once more and would have to go through the entire nomination process, including hearings in the Senate.

Biden could nominate another candidate next year. He announced his intention to nominate Sohn as his nominee in October 2021. Rumours suggest that Stacey Abrams, who lost the race for Georgia governor, could be one of these candidates.

Four FCC Commissioners are currently in place — two Democrats, two Republicans — which gives Democrats limited power.

Sohn, a Georgetown law professor, helped to create net neutralityrules that were pushed during Obama’s years and supported by many Silicon Valley tech giants like Amazon and Netflix.

Sohn is expected to restore net neutrality, which would prohibit internet providers often owned by cable companies from discriminating against streaming companies. This was after the Trump years’ rollback.

According to reports, Comcast is a strong opponent to Sohn’s nomination.

The Post reported that Sohn was a directorat Locast, a start-up company that provided free access to broadcast stations such as ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, and also took donations. Locast was sued and had to settle for $32 million with the largest networks.

Locast claimed that Locast was offered a sweetheart agreement by the networks on the settlement payment. When Sohn was nominated for the FCC commissioner position, Locast agreed to a final figure of less than $1 million.

Sohn was a Locast director, and was not involved in settlement talks. The Post also reported.

On Oct. 14, dozens of groups, including Public Knowledge and Common Cause, wrote a letter to Majority leader Chuck Schumer (D.NY) and Minority leader Mitch McConnell(R.Ky.), asking them to vote for her nomination.

The letter stated that “Her collaboration with industry and Congress in the development of programs which support low income Americans, including those living in rural and tribal lands is an example her commitment to working with all sides to reach commonsense solutions.”


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