POLITICS
07/14/2014 11:43 am ET | Updated Jul 14, 2014

Senate Candidate Gary Peters Pushes FCC On Net Neutrality

A U.S. Senate candidate in Michigan has called on the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that all Internet traffic is treated fairly.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Monday, U.S. Rep. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) expressed his "serious concerns" about an early-stage FCC plan that could let broadband providers charge websites for providing speedy access to ordinary customers. Paid prioritization is a major bugbear for supporters of net neutrality, the principal of treating all web traffic equally.

"If large corporations can pay more for faster service for their content, this effectively creates a 'slow lane' for everyone else," Peters wrote.

Peters suggested Wheeler consider reclassifying broadband providers as public utilities, a step that would prevent them from charging for extra access. But he stopped short of outright calling for the FCC to make that move, as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) did last week.

Peters is leading Republican candidate Terri Lynn Land in the race to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D). His letter comes days before the annual Netroots Nation conference of online progressive activists -- many of whom are fiercely opposed to paid prioritization -- begins in Detroit.

Tuesday is the last day of the first comment period for Wheeler's proposed rule about online access. Wheeler tweeted on Friday that the agency has received about 647,000 public comments so far, and a second round of commenting will end on September 10.

CORRECTION: A previously version of this article incorrectly stated the deadline for the first open internet comment period.

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

  • Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.)
    AP
    Before winning his congressional race, Bentivolio was a reindeer farmer, Santa impersonator and star in a low-budget 9/11 conspiracy movie -- as well as a veteran, auto designer and teacher. He is defending his seat against attorney and "foreclosure king" David Trott in Michigan's 11th District.
  • Republican House candidate Jake Rush
    Rush, an attorney who is challenging Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), led a double life. Until late last year, he also went by alternative identities such as "Chazz Darling" and "Staas van der Winst" as a member of the Mind's Eye Society, a group of gothic-punk role-players who pretend to be supernatural beings like vampires. Rush defended his hobby, saying he's simply "a gamer" with "a deep appreciation for theatre."
  • Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R)
    Getty Images
    Grothman, who is taking on Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) in the state's 6th District, has advocated for a number of deeply unpopular policy positions, like making public employees work on Martin Luther King Day and reverting to a seven-day work week. He has also said Kwanzaa is a fake holiday that "almost no black people today care about."
  • Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R)
    AP
    Bennett, who is running in the Republican primary to succeed Gov. Jan Brewer (R), threatened to leave President Barack Obama off the ballot in Arizona if Hawaii didn't verify Obama's birthplace. He made the threat a year after the White House produced Obama's long-form birth certificate.
  • Democratic congressional candidate Aaron Woolf
    Campaign
    Woolf, who is running to succeed retiring Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.), has an unconventional background as a congressional candidate: He is a documentary filmmaker who made the award-winning "King Corn" and the owner of an organic deli and grocery store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called "Urban Rustic."
  • Republican congressional candidate Isaac Misiuk
    Campaign
    The 24-year-old Misiuk is an engaged father of one child and a second-year student at the University of Southern Maine. He is attempting to unseat Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and may be the youngest congressional candidate in the country.
  • Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst (R)
    Associated Press
    Ernst, who will challenge Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) for retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's (D-Iowa) seat in November, gained crucial momentum in her primary by running an ad in which she proudly touted her background castrating hogs, saying she knows "how to cut pork."
  • Democratic Senate candidate Rick Weiland
    Associated Press
    Weiland, who is in the race to fill the seat being vacated by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), visited every one of South Dakota's 311 incorporated towns. When he finished his tour of every town, his campaign announced that he'd do it all again.
  • Republican Senate candidate Milton Wolf
    Associated Press
    Wolf is a a radiologist and tea party activist who is challenging Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). His campaign came under fire in February after it was revealed that he had posted and commented on his patients' X-ray photographs on Facebook in 2010. Some of those patients included fatal gunshot victims. Wolf has also compared his distant cousin, who happens to be President Barack Obama, to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
  • Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R)
    AP
    LePage, who has been called "America's Craziest Governor" and "The Worst Governor Of All," is up for reelection in November. In one famous incident, he told the NAACP to "kiss my butt" when the group complained that he had refused to attend a Martin Luther King Day breakfast. He also said President Barack Obama could "go to hell" and told attendees at a fundraiser that the president "hates white people." LePage also once told students: "If you want a good education, go to private schools. If you can't afford it, tough luck. You can go to the public school."

CONVERSATIONS