Free Press: Lawmakers Should Give MPAA Contributions Back

Joel Kelsey, a top political adviser for Free Press, has written an editorial urging U.S. lawmakers who have taken money from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to give it back. Writing over at, Kelsey makes this request in light of recent comments from MPAA president Chris Dodd made to Fox News. In case you don't remember:

"Those who count on 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

Kelsey acknowledges that politicians take money from everyone so that they can go back to their respective districts and fight for a chance to return to Washington for another term. But what Dodd said to Fox News implies a high level impropriety on the part of the MPAA and lawmakers who accept their money. Americans are not naive about the influence that campaign contributions have on policy-making, but Dodd's hubris on the topic is beyond the pale. As a former member of the Senate (D-CT.), Dodd understands how the process works, but saying it out loud in public instead of in a back room somewhere brings this very ugly topic into the public light. Here's the thrust of what Kelsey says in his opinion piece:

"We can’t guarantee that top lobbyists like Dodd, who have gone through the revolving door in D.C., will become more ethical. But we can demand that our elected officials make it clear to K Street who they are supposed to be representing in Washington — those everyday people who stood up to Hollywood and stopped Congress from passing bills that would have had dire consequences for the Internet, our nation’s biggest economic engine.

Free Press is urging lawmakers to put their money where their mouths are. We’re asking the top recipients of the MPAA’s campaign cash to give the money back. We’re hoping this will send a message to Dodd and all other corporate lobbyists that our nation’s laws are not for sale.

You can read the article here.

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