Search for...
OnTheIssuesLogo

Harold Ford on Technology

Former Democratic Representative (TN-9, 1997-2007)


Voted YES on establishing "network neutrality" (non-tiered Internet).

An amendment, sponsored by Rep Markey (D, MA) which establishes "network neutrality" by requiring that broadband network service providers have the following duties:
  1. not to block or interfere with the ability of any person to use a broadband connection to access the Internet;
  2. to operate its broadband network in a nondiscriminatory manner so that any person can offer or provide content and services over the broadband network with equivalent or better capability than the provider extends to itself or affiliated parties, and without the imposition of a charge for such nondiscriminatory network operation;
  3. if the provider prioritizes or offers enhanced quality of service to data of a particular type, to prioritize or offer enhanced quality of service to all data of that type without imposing a surcharge or other consideration for such prioritization or enhanced quality of service.
Proponents say that network neutrality ensures that everybody is treated alike with regard to use of the Internet, which has been a principle applied to Internet use since it was first originated. Proponents say that without network neutrality, large corporations will pay for exclusive preferential service and hence small websites will be relegated to a second tier of inferior service. Opponents say that the Markey amendment forsakes the free market in favor of government price controls, and would chill investment in broadband network and deployment of new broadband services, and would reduce choice for internet users. Voting YES favors the network neutrality viewpoint over the price control viewpoint.
Reference: Communications, Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act; Bill HR 5252 Amendment 987 ; vote number 2006-239 on Jun 8, 2006

Voted YES on increasing fines for indecent broadcasting.

Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005: Expresses the sense of Congress that broadcast television station licensees should reinstitute a family viewing policy for broadcasters. Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to provide that for violators of any Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license, if a violator is determined by the FCC to have broadcast obscene, indecent, or profane material, the amount of forfeiture penalty shall not exceed $500,000 for each violation. Sets forth:
  1. additional factors for determining indecency penalties;
  2. indecency penalties for non-licensees;
  3. deadlines for actions on complaints;
  4. additional remedies for indecent broadcasts; and
  5. provisions for license disqualification, revocation, or renewal consideration for violations of indecency prohibitions.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton [R, MI-6]; Bill H.R.310 ; vote number 2005-035 on Feb 16, 2005

Voted NO on promoting commercial human space flight industry.

Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004: States that Congress finds that:
  1. the goal of safely opening space to the American people and to their private commercial enterprises should guide Federal space investments, policies, and regulations;
  2. private industry has begun to develop commercial launch vehicles capable of carrying human beings into space;
  3. greater private investment in these efforts will stimulate the commercial space transportation industry;
  4. space transportation is inherently risky, and the future of the commercial human space flight industry will depend on its ability to continually improve its safety performance; and
  5. the regulatory standards governing human space flight must evolve as the industry matures so that regulations neither stifle technology development nor expose crew or space flight participants to avoidable risks as the public comes to expect greater safety for crew and space flight participants from the industry.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Rep Dana Rohrabacher [R, CA-46]; Bill H.R.5382 ; vote number 2004-541 on Nov 20, 2004

Voted YES on banning Internet gambling by credit card.

Internet Gambling Bill: Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit credit card companies and other financial institutions from processing Internet gambling transactions. Exempt from the ban would be state regulated or licensed transactions.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Spencer, R-AL; Bill HR 2143 ; vote number 2003-255 on Jun 10, 2003

Voted YES on allowing telephone monopolies to offer Internet access.

Internet Freedom and Broadband Deployment Act of 2001: Vote to pass a bill that would allow the four regional Bell telephone companies to enter the high-speed Internet access market via their long-distance connections whether or not they have allowed competitors into their local markets as required under the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The bill would allow the Bells to increase the fees they charge competitors for lines upgraded for broadband services from "wholesale rates" to "just and reasonable rates." It also would also allow the Bells to charge for giving competitors access to certain rights-of-way for broadband access. Certain FCC regulatory oversight would be maintained although the phone companies' high speed services would be exempted from regulation by the states.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Tauzin, R-LA; Bill HR 1542 ; vote number 2002-45 on Feb 27, 2002

Chief information officer to digitize federal government.

Ford adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Performance-Based Government
The strong anti-government sentiments of the early 1990s have subsided, but most Americans still think government is too bureaucratic, too centralized, and too inefficient.

In Washington and around the country, a second round of “reinventing government” initiatives should be launched to transform public agencies into performance-based organizations focused on bottom-line results. Many public services can be delivered on a competitive basis among public and private entities with accountability for results. Public-private partnerships should become the rule, not the exception, in delivering services. Civic and voluntary groups, including faith-based organizations, should play a larger role in addressing America’s social problems.

When the federal government provides grants to states and localities to perform public services, it should give the broadest possible administrative flexibility while demanding and rewarding specific results. Government information and services at every level should be thoroughly “digitized,” enabling citizens to conduct business with public agencies online.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC8 on Aug 1, 2000

Close digital divide with high-tech training.

Ford adopted the CBC principles:

Source: Congressional Black Caucus press release 01-CBC9 on Jan 6, 2001

Other candidates on Technology: Harold Ford on other issues:
TN Gubernatorial:
Bill Haslam
TN Senatorial:
Bob Corker
Lamar Alexander

Retiring as of Jan. 2011:
CT:Dodd(D)
DE:Kaufman(D)
FL:Martinez(R)
FL:LeMieux(R)
IL:Burris(D)
IN:Bayh(D)
KS:Brownback(R)
KY:Bunning(R)
MO:Bond(R)
ND:Dorgan(D)
NH:Gregg(R)
OH:Voinovich(R)
PA:Specter(R)
UT:Bennett(R)
WV:Goodwin(D)

Unseated as of Jan. 2011:
AR:Lincoln(D)
UT:Bennett(R)
WI:Feingold(D)


Newly elected, Nov. 2010:
AR:Boozman(R)
CT:Blumenthal(D)
CO:Bennet(D)
DE:Coons(D)
FL:Rubio(R)
IL:Kirk(R)
IN:Coats(R)
KS:Moran(R)
KY:Paul(R)
MO:Blunt(R)
ND:Hoeven(R)
NH:Ayotte(R)
NY2:Gillibrand(D)
OH:Portman(R)
PA:Toomey(R)
UT:Lee(R)
WI:Johnson(R)
WV:Manchin(D)


Re-elected, Nov. 2010:
AK:Murkowski(I)
AL:Shelby(R)
AZ:McCain(R)
CA:Boxer(D)
GA:Isakson(R)
HI:Inouye(D)
IA:Grassley(R)
ID:Crapo(R)
LA:Vitter(R)
MD:Mikulski(D)
NC:Burr(R)
NV:Reid(D)
NY6:Schumer(D)
OK:Coburn(R)
OR:Wyden(D)
SC:DeMint(R)
SD:Thune(R)
VT:Leahy(D)
WA:Murray(D)
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Jobs
Principles
Social Security
Tax Reform
Technology
War/Peace
Welfare

Other Senators
Senate Votes (analysis)
Bill Sponsorships
Affiliations
Policy Reports
Group Ratings

Page last updated: Nov 26, 2010