Dick Durbin Reaches Out to the Right

by Rob Bluey | July 30, 2007 5:28 pm

Last week Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.) kicked off what was a first-of-its-kind experiment in legislating[1]. 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[2]. While I applauded his initiative, I also encouraged him to reach out to conservatives[3] 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[4]. 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[5] to high-speed broadband. Many conservatives welcomed his goal[6] 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[7] so far. I hope you’ll choose to engage tomorrow night.

Cross-posted at RobertBluey.com[8].

Endnotes:
  1. first-of-its-kind experiment in legislating: http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,135194-c,internetlegalissues/article.html
  2. Open Left: http://www.openleft.com/
  3. encouraged him to reach out to conservatives: http://robertbluey.com/blog/2007/07/25/dick-durbins-one-sided-legislation/
  4. RedState: http://www.redstate.com/
  5. universal and affordable access: http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/technology/economic_policy200404/chap4.html
  6. welcomed his goal: http://www.freedomworks.org/informed/issues_template.php?issue_id=2097
  7. has been a success: http://www.infoworld.com/article/07/07/27/Online-legislation-writing-effort-gets-good-reviews_1.html
  8. RobertBluey.com: http://RobertBluey.com

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