Terri Lynn Land, the Republican choice for Senate candidate in Michigan is, well, not ready for prime time, as Laura Clawson details, ill-prepared to answer serious questions about the auto bailout or equal pay. But she sounds downright intelligent in those responses compared to her answer on net neutrality.
"I think the Internet should be free," Land said. "It is a great source of information. I'm on Twitter and a fan of Twitter. I think that's a very important part of this. It's a way to actually interact with the community."Actually, it was way worse than that snippet. Eclectablog has the full transcript:
Asked to clarify her position, Land later explained that she was not proposing free national broadband access. "I think it's important that the costs don't go up so people can have access to the Internet," she told reporters.
Reporter: When you said that you think the Internet should be free are you talking about broadband infrastructure free access nationwide?Free internet? Sure! No? Not what we're talking about? Okay, fast internet! Fast internet costs more? Oh, no, not that. What were we talking about again?
Land: Right, right.
Reporter: So you think that if you were in the Senate you would push for the creation of a nationwide broadband infrastructure with free access?
Land: No, no, no. We were talking about one specific item, there.
Reporter: Right, net neutrality, which is about access to faster Internet, not free Internet.
Land: Right. I think that … I think it's important that the costs don't go up so people can't have access to the Internet, meaning that what he said, if it's faster than [sic] they're gonna charge more to the consumer."
Please read below the fold for more on this story.
Clearly, this is the first encounter Ms. Land has had with the words "net neutrality." Which is kind of astounding considering we—as a nation—have been talking about this for nearly a decade, and the internet is ubiquitous, and people with a passing acquaintance with public policy would have a clue about it, and she's running for the goddamned Senate!
We clearly do not want the fate of the internet in the hands of people like Terri Lynn Land. And she's probably not alone in her ignorance. Chances are there's a good chunk of Congress that's already been elected that couldn't answer the question any better. That's why the best answer for swift action to really protect the internet lies with the Federal Communications Commission, which has the perfect opportunity before it now to reclassify broadband as a utility, and keep Ms. Land happily tweeting away.