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Bennet Kelley
Bennet Kelley is an award-winning political columnist, host of Cyber Law and Business Report on and a practicing internet lawyer at the Internet Law Center in Santa Monica.

Entries by Bennet Kelley

The DC Marijuana Battle: It's About More Than Weed

(2) Comments | Posted February 27, 2015 | 8:36 PM

The battle between Congress and the District of Columbia over its new voter approved marijuana legalization initiative may seem esoteric at first blush. That is because the current debate centers on when the District law was deemed enacted in order to determine whether it has violated a Congressional restriction on...

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The Unbearable Rudeness of Bibi

(789) Comments | Posted January 24, 2015 | 7:11 PM

With the front page of the paper being occupied by so-called Deflate-gate, Congress was quick to reclaim its rightful place with its own mini-tempest over House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin ("Bibi") Netanyahu to speak before a Joint Meeting of Congress without prior notice to and/or approval...

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Beyond Selma - Writing the Next Chapter in American Civil Rights History

(9) Comments | Posted January 1, 2015 | 9:28 AM

In November 2012, I worked with the Obama campaign's anti-voter suppression efforts in Florida. I was shocked when I saw that voters in largely Hispanic and African-American areas were forced to wait hours and hours to vote by design. The state had cut early voting from 14 to 6 days...

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Liberal Giant Henry Waxman Retires After 40-Years in Congress

(3) Comments | Posted December 27, 2014 | 6:36 PM

My introduction to Henry Waxman came in 1980 watching the film HR 6161: An Act of Congress in my political science class at American University. The story was about the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 where a second-term Rep. Waxman and others took on the true...

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America's Day of Shame and Redemption

(1) Comments | Posted December 13, 2014 | 5:58 AM

Throughout the Obama administration, the President has focused on moving forward and not dwelling on the actions of his predecessor. As Faulkner reminds us, however, the past never dies and has a strange capacity for calling our attention as was the case this week with the Senate Intelligence Committee's release...

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Tankman, the GOP and Voting Rights

(3) Comments | Posted October 25, 2014 | 7:06 PM

One of the most evocative images of the 20th century was the image of a single man standing in front of a column of tanks as part of the pro-democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. The picture resonates because, as Thomas Jefferson wrote two centuries earlier, we are...

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Tiny Iowa County Takes on the King of Online Defamation

(18) Comments | Posted July 13, 2014 | 12:00 AM

In Gunfight at the OK Corral, a U.S. Marshal from the prairie is called to Arizona to help his brother stand his ground against a band of cattle thieves. The character is an American archetype that is alive and well in the last untamed frontier -- the Internet.

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Johnson, Reagan and the Great American Paradox

(0) Comments | Posted June 4, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Name the hawkish former president that liberals love to hate who cut taxes shortly after taking office, presided over a booming economy with low unemployment, reduced the national debt and whose legacy shapes much of today's debate.

If you said Ronald Reagan, guess again. In fact, far from reducing the...

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Highlights from Silicon Beach Congressional Debate

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 1:07 AM

Four of the leading candidates to replace the retiring Henry Waxman in California's 33rd Congressional District discussed their views on tech issues with me on Cyber Law and Business Report:

(i) Elan Carr (R) - a gang prosecutor with the LA County District Attorney's Office; (ii)

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Clipper Nation: Rise Up and Seize the Day for We Are Los Angeles

(1) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 11:06 AM

An Open Letter to Clipper Nation

It is both ironic and liberating that amidst its most successful season in franchise history, the Los Angeles Clippers would also face its biggest identity crisis.

When they take the court on Tuesday to face the Golden State Warriors in a pivotal playoff...

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No Turning 'Round: Selma's Anniversary Call to Advance Voting Rights

(2) Comments | Posted March 21, 2014 | 2:36 PM

On the Saturday night before the 2012 election, I was at a polling station in Florida where the predominantly minority voters stood in line as much as five hours waiting to vote. My job was to encourage them to stay in line, but the voters I spoke with needed little...

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It Is Still Our Internet and We Can Save It

(5) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 10:56 AM

The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Open Internet Order established "Net Neutrality" rules requiring that broadband providers disclose their network management practices while prohibiting them from blocking any lawful content, apps services or devices and from unreasonably discriminating against any Internet traffic. These are principles that date back to the Pacific...

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President Obama's Freedom Agenda and the Road to Redemption in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted December 28, 2013 | 6:52 AM

This has been a disappointing year for President Obama and the Democrats. One would think that a year that featured a medley of Republican self-inflicted wounds culminating in the pointless government shutdown would end with the Democrats heading into the midterm election year with the wind in their sails. Instead,...

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Is Steve Peace Leading California to Disaster... Again?

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2013 | 6:36 PM

Throughout my nearly twenty years in California, I have heard natives frequently lament the loss of the Golden State that was -- a state with the nation's premier public educational system and infrastructure. To them, California's passage of Proposition 13's budgetary straight jacket has led to a creeping "Mississippification", as...

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The Roberts' Court's Shelby County Power Play Could Backfire

(1) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 11:29 AM

There is an interesting exchange from Joe Klein's The Natural, a mini-memoir of the Clinton era, in which a Republican senator confesses to President Clinton that Republicans "don't believe in Government very much, but we love power." That is a good starting point for understanding the judicial activism of the...

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The Economics of PRISM and the Internet

(1) Comments | Posted June 24, 2013 | 3:41 PM

While much has been said about the recent leak regarding the NSA PRISM program, little has been said of its economic impact. Consider the fact that a 2011 McKinsey study found that the Internet contributed to 21 percent of the GDP growth in mature economies over the prior...

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Boston Needs Your Help

(8) Comments | Posted June 14, 2013 | 6:08 PM

The Stanley Cup finals return to Boston Monday night, shining a bright spotlight on this wounded city a mere two months after the Boston Marathon bombings and drama that ensued. For many of the 260 wounded, however, the drama continues.

Massachusetts Governor Patrick and Boston Mayor Menino have set up...

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Why I Am Not Voting for Eric Garcetti for Mayor

(14) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 2:46 PM

I have known Eric Garcetti since before he was first elected to City Council when we were involved in the west coast launch of a young progressive group called Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century. It may come as a surprise to some, however, that I am not...

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Return of the Kamikaze Congress

(0) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 7:20 AM

The Miami Herald responded to House Republicans' intransigence by noting "[p]artisanship and precipice met in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, and the Republican majority leapt into the abyss." Similarly, the Detroit Free Press explained that the vote was a victory only for "blind zeal and base politics."

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Why Obama 2.0 Is Good for Innovation

(5) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 3:43 PM

This is an important election for all Americans, but especially for those of us in the tech community since decisions we make in November will impact the state of American innovation both in the short-term and for years to come.

On the one hand there is President Obama, who...

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