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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

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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Romney, Marx and the GOP Brand

(1) Comments | Posted October 16, 2012 | 3:19 PM

There is a long-standing strain in conservative thought that America is essentially a conservative country that has been led astray and duped by the "liberal media" and Hollywood. The most recent articulation of this view is in books like Obama Zombies and documentaries like The Obama Deception, which contend that...

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Romney and the Calamitous Republicans

(22) Comments | Posted September 25, 2012 | 12:42 PM

The media is abuzz over what appears to be the implosion of the Romney campaign, with leading Republicans offering scathing "pre-eulogies" such as Peggy Noonan's statement that the Romney campaign is a "rolling calamity." Such a focus on the individual candidate's tactical ineptitude obscures the larger point that...

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Mitt Romney: The "Us the People" Candidate

(29) Comments | Posted July 17, 2012 | 11:33 AM

Our national charter begins with three important words -- "We the People." These words were on my mind on Independence Day as I toured Berlin, a city where the echoes of history surround you. It is a history of America at its best, in which American military and economic might...

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Right-Wing Judges Seek to Close the Courthouse Doors to Public Interest Claims

(15) Comments | Posted June 27, 2012 | 5:26 PM

Imagine if, prior to arguing Brown v. Board of Education on behalf of the NAACP, future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall instead had been forced by pro-Jim Crow judges to pay substantial penalties for "grossly abusing the judicial process" by asserting what they deemed to be frivolous arguments. Had that...

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Bridging the D.C.-Silicon Valley Divide in Napa Valley

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2012 | 12:02 PM

As in past years, the sixth Tech Policy Summit held in serene Napa Valley highlights the very Silicon Valley-Washington divide which it seeks to bridge. While the SOPA fight, the passage of the CROWDFUND Act and greater tech engagement on Capitol Hill are major signs of improvement, the...

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A Hatchet Job and California's Hottest Assembly Race

(0) Comments | Posted May 25, 2012 | 1:33 PM

Tom Hayden, who is now the Carey McWilliams fellow at The Nation, has weighed in on one of California's hottest Assembly races just before the June 5th primary. Unfortunately, Hayden's column appears to be nothing more than a machine hatchet job, which is both a disservice to California...

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CISPA, Netizens and the Internet's Coming of Age Party

(5) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 4:36 PM

Last week in Geneva the Internet elite gathered to celebrate the inaugural class of inductees for the Internet Hall of Fame at a very fitting moment. The Internet is experiencing a coming of age as not only has it surpassed television in terms of daily consumer usage, but...

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The GOP Declares Bankruptcy

(4) Comments | Posted April 10, 2012 | 3:36 PM

With Mitt Romney's recent primary victories in Illinois, Maryland and Wisconsin, the inevitability factor has begun to set in and Romney is now the presumptive nominee having prevailed over an embarrassingly weak GOP field of candidates. The good news for Republicans is that by embracing Romney the brutal primary fight...

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The Difference Between April and November Fools

(2) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 7:03 PM

After Pope Benedict reiterated the Vatican's long-standing condemnation of the United States' 50-year-old embargo of Cuba, I noticed some chatter in social media that maybe the remarks could lead to a change in U.S. policy. After double-checking to make sure that pigs were not flying outside, I resigned myself to...

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Taxation by Press Release in the Cradle of Liberty

(2) Comments | Posted December 14, 2011 | 9:48 AM

Pennsylvania's recent enactment of the so-called "Amazon Tax" via a press release from the Department of Revenue may be seen as a deft political move by Governor Tom Corbett to close a budget gap without enacting any new taxes, but viewed from afar the action is a cause for alarm...

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