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Hot Dish Politics

Tracking Minnesota’s political scene and keeping you up-to-date on those elected to serve you

Sen. Franken calls out Republicans for trying to block net neutrality

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Al Franken on Wednesday said he will reach out to his vast network of net neutrality supporters to apply pressure on Republicans after they added a provision in this next year's budget that guts new net neutrality rules.

The Republican measure, inserted into the budget over the summer, would prevent the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing net neutrality rules until Internet service providers deplete all legal challenges with the commission.

Franken noted in a press call with Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey that four million people weighed in in favor of net neutrality to the FCC.

"I guess we've got to appeal to people again," Franken said. "These businesses, like Ford, like Bank Of America, they don't want this either. The only people who really benefit for this are ISPs (Internet service providers). I'm not sure my Republican colleagues totally understand the issue of net neutrality."

Franken has been a vocal supporter of net neutrality, which essentially promises that all Internet traffic and speeds are treated equally.

The FCC, in February, called for regulating the Internet like a utility, which prevents the large providers like Comcast and Verizon from setting various prices for Internet lines, depending on the users and hosts

Clinton announces Minn. leadership council; names conspicuously missing

WASHINGTON -- Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign appointed a few dozen Minnesotans to the her leadership council over the weekend -- though most of the state's U.S. House members are holding out on endorsing her.

Those on the leadership council are charged with “amplifying the national voice’ for Clinton across Minnesota, ahead of the March 1 caucuses.

The team includes Gov. Mark Dayton, Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, both Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar, some union leaders, including Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota and 15 state representatives and senators, including Melissa Franzen, Jeff Hayden, Sandy Pappas and Kathy Sheran.

Only Democratic Rep. Tim Walz has signed onto support her on the U.S. House side.  Conspicuously missing from Clinton’s list, released Monday, are Reps. Rick Nolan, Collin Peterson, Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum.

McCollum, Ellison, Nolan and Peterson have said they have not endorsed anyone yet for the 2016 presidential campaign.

Clintons campaign noted they hope to expand the leadership council in Minnesota.

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