by WorldTribune Staff, February 14, 2023
Joe Biden has re-nominated Gigi Sohn for the vacant seat on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the ranking Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee, said that Sohn “has associated herself with the most radical views on the far Left” and has a lengthy record of extremism, poor ethics, bad judgment, and disdain for Congress.
Biden put Sohn up for the FCC slot in 2022, but the nomination stalled out in the last Congress. She is supported by a number of leftist group, including 18 Million Rising, which tweeted in March 2021 that “policing has never been an effective response to violence because police are the agents of white supremacy.”
Sohn is also supported by the leftist group Our Revolution, which lists as a”priority” defunding the police, and tweeted in 2021 that police departments use surplus safety equipment from the Department of Defense to “brutalize” American communities.
Law enforcement groups like the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) and Fraternal Order of Police are publicly opposing Sohn’s nomination due to her connection to anti-police groups.
The FCC works with law enforcement on a number of fronts, including establishing and enforcing rules that enable law enforcement to conduct surveillance of Internet and telephone networks when necessary, and rules for the delivery of emergency alerts over communications networks. The FCC also secures and protects communications networks from national security threats.
Sohn “portrays herself as a defender of free speech but has a history of campaigning to censor conservatives,” Cruz noted. “She calls Fox News ‘dangerous to our democracy’ and has urged the FCC to revoke Sinclair’s broadcast licenses. At the same time, she has a history of fighting against indecency regulations that protect children from exposure to filth on TV. To Sohn, it seems conservative speech is worse than obscenity.”
The commission is currently comprised of two Republican and two Democrat members, which means it can’t green-light any regulatory rules that do not have bipartisan support. Sohn, if confirmed, will be the tiebreak vote.
“Vetting a nominee to the Federal Communications Commission is a serious task,” Cruz said. “The FCC is an agency with vast power over how Americans communicate and what information they access. It is also an agency with a history of abusing vague statutory provisions to pursue partisan policy goals. We know enough from today’s extreme left what happens when power is put in the wrong hands. It doesn’t take much to imagine a partisan FCC going down a dark path in attempting to censor what we see, hear, read, and ultimately, think.”
Cruz continued: “As such, our responsibility as senators is to make sure an FCC nominee not only has the expertise to be an independent regulator, but also possess good judgment and temperament. The nominee must be fair, ethical, and perhaps most importantly, honest. On all these fronts, Gigi Sohn fails.”
Cruz pointed to Sohn’s stint as a board member with the Locast streaming service.
In March 2020, Sohn joined Locast’s board as the company was “embroiled in a lawsuit arising from the group’s piracy of broadcast content,” Cruz noted. “The following year, the White House began vetting her for a spot on the FCC. During the vetting process, a reasonable individual might have stepped aside from Locast but not Sohn. Despite being considered to regulate the very same companies that were suing her organization for stealing from them, Sohn remained on Locast’s board.”
In the fall of 2021, a federal judge found that Locast was engaged in illegal behavior, ordered it to stop operating, and awarded statutory damages of $32 million to the broadcasters.
“On October 26, 2021, President Biden announced his intent to nominate Sohn. Just one day later, Sohn signed an agreement settling the lawsuit,” Cruz said, adding that she “then hid significant details about the settlement from this committee. She actively misled senators about the settlement’s dollar amount and her ability to share settlement information with the committee. It’s clear why: it was a sweetheart settlement. The broadcasters’ drastically reduced her organization’s penalty by 98% — from $32 million to $700,000.”