In Gigi Sohn’s Advocacy of Cable/Telecomm Competition, Consumer Choice & Lower Prices, Echos of John McCain and Other GOP Communications Policy Legends!

Fighting for the right of consumers to pay for only the cable channels they want, former Conservative Republican Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain repeatedly asked, ‘Why should the little old lady living on Social Security in Gila Bend, AZ have to pay an extra $7 a month because ESPN (that she never watches) is a mandatory part of her cable bundle?’ His tireless Republican advocacy for competition, consumer choice and lower prices for Cable and Telecomm services was shared by other former great Republican Communications Policy Leaders like Billy Tauzin who waged a courageous one-person floor fight to give satellite TV services access to leading cable channels. [Full disclosure, working for Disney/ESPN at the time I lobbied against Senator McCain on cable consumer choice. I was no more principled then than are other industry lobbyists today.]

In FCC nominee Gigi Sohn’s lifelong advocacy for competition, consumer choice and lower prices, there is the unmistakable echo of these former great Republican Communications Policy Leaders. And yet, at her third confirmation hearing, some (not all) of today’s Senate Commerce Committee Republicans sounded like they were aligning themselves with Cable/Telecom industry giants instead of with consumers. And at other times they harped on extraneous issues completely unrelated to the mission of the FCC.

The FCC needs Gigi Sohn. And her advocacy for competition, consumer choice and lower prices bears the unmistakable echo of great Conservative Republican Leaders of Communications Policy. The Senate should confirm her without delay.

Colorado New Housing Boom Meets The Water Crisis

”OpEd By Preston Padden In The Denver Gazette

Colorado’s New Housing Boom Meets The Water Crisis

A recent Denver Gazette article highlighted the urgency of our water crisis – “The Water Wars Of The West Have Begun” February 4, 2023.  Colorado – in fact the entire West – is in a water crisis.  Local Governments are imposing water restrictions on current residents.  “Aurora water department warns of drought projections, need for restrictions”, Denver Gazette, February 6, 2023.

Colorado Attorney General Weiser has announced that he is not afraid to sue other States for using more than their legal share of water from the Colorado River.  New York Hedge Funds are buying up our water rights hoping to turn our water scarcity into a “Trillion Dollar opportunity”.  CBS News, January 31, 2023, “New York Investors Snapping Up Colorado River Water Rights, Betting Big On An Increasingly Scarce Resource”. 

In an ominous sign of what could happen to current residents of Colorado, the NY Times reports that a community of $500,000 homes on the border of Scottsdale, AZ just was told that Scottsdale can no longer supply them with water. They can’t shower, wash dishes or flush commodes.  Their homes are unlivable.

At the same time, local governments throughout Colorado continue to approve Hundreds of Thousands of new homes – homes that will need water – water that we don’t have.  Eastern Boulder Country where my wife and I live is an example.  A marketing brochure for a new retail development on the Lafayette/Erie border touts 59,000 new homes in the pipeline just in our little area – 59,000 new homes!  Multiply that many times over to get a sense of what is happening throughout Colorado.

Some  local governments argue that they make residential developers identify “new” sources of water for their developments.  But this argument is specious.  First, there are no “new” sources of water.  Our water supply is finite.  Second, if those “new” sources of water were not earmarked for new homes, those “new” sources would be available to serve existing residents.

There are powerful forces that want to keep approving an endless stream of new homes – developers, builders and Local Governments (who like the impact fees they collect).

But continued Local Government approval of Hundreds of Thousands of new homes is not sustainable in the face of our water crisis.  It is imperative that Colorado Local Governments pause the approval of new homes.  Your ability to shower, wash dishes, flush your commode – live a normal life, depends on it.”