Dick Durbin Reaches Out to the Right

Last week Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.) kicked off what was a first-of-its-kind experiment in legislating. The No. 2 Democrat in the Senate asked ordinary citizens and experts in telecom policy to share their thoughts and ideas about a national broadband bill that he would soon be writing.

Over the course of four days, Durbin sought feedback on the liberal blog Open Left. While I applauded his initiative, I also encouraged him to reach out to conservatives as well. It’s not that the Open Left discussion wasn’t open — anyone could participate — but I know how the blogosphere works well enough to realize that conservatives probably weren’t going to trek over to a liberal blog to engage in the conversation.

Much to my surprise, the criticism was met with a positive response from Durbin’s office. His communications director acknowledged the oversight and offered to post on conservative blog RedState. Tomorrow morning Durbin will fulfill that promise, and then at 6:30 p.m. he’ll make himself available to answer our questions and listen to our ideas.

Let me remind you that this isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican issue. President Bush in 2004 called for universal and affordable access to high-speed broadband. Many conservatives welcomed his goal as a way to spur innovation, new jobs and economic competitiveness.

This is a great opportunity to engage directly with a U.S. senator to share with him your thoughts on broadband policy. His experiment has been a success so far. I hope you’ll choose to engage tomorrow night.

Cross-posted at RobertBluey.com.

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