Chris Dodd intimidating lawmakers on SOPA, PIPA
posted at 12:04 pm on January 21, 2012 by Karl
Consumer group Public Knowledge makes the accusation about the former Senator-turned-MPAA head’s activities on behalf of the controversial anti-piracy bills:
“Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,” Dodd said on Fox News on Thursday.
Hollywood moguls are also pulling out of Obama fundraisers over the issue.
In general (unlike many), I do not have a big issue with lobbyists; I have a problem with a government large enough to make them a virtual necessity. However, after Dodd announced his retirement from the US Senate (rather than face a campaign centered on his involvement in the subprime mortgage crisis), he promised, “No lobbying, no lobbying,” as if there was something wrong with it. He became head of the MPAA — the Hollywood lobby — weeks after retiring. But openly issuing veiled threats on national television probably doesn’t count as “lobbying,” so this is really more about Dodd’s general sliminess and hypocrisy than a legal problem.
Now that widespread opposition from the tech sector and the public has forced Congress to table SOPA and PIPA, Dodd has regrets. He regrets they didn’t ram these bills into law before the opposition grew, that the debate was focused on Hollywood and… that his own lobbying efforts were hampered by the law he backed. Dodd previously voted for the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, which among other things increased the “cooling off” period for Senators lobbying their former colleagues from one to two years.