News Story

RNC Chairman Candidate Favors Net Neutrality

Saul Anuzis has announced he's running for chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. The former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party pits himself against sitting RNC Chairman Michael Steele.

Anuzis garnered respect in the state for employing strategies resulting in recent Republican takeovers of the governorship, state House of Representatives and Michigan Supreme Court, expanding the party's majority in the state Senate and increasing the GOP congressional delegation by two seats.

As a staunch advocate for net neutrality, however, Anuzis rows against the tide established by the majority of his party. (It should be noted that on Nov. 2, all 95 Democrats who signed a pledge supporting net neutrality lost their respective elections throughout the country.)

Additionally, a recent report from the Phoenix Center in Washington, D.C., estimates implementation of net neutrality regulations would result in the loss of 300,000 jobs.

In his announcement seeking the RNC post, Anuzis wrote: "In 2012 one of two things will happen. We will either win back the Senate and White House and set America on the right pathway forward, or we will squander this opportunity and allow President Obama to continue moving our nation to the left, to an era of unprecedented government growth and intrusion into our lives."

After the Mackinac Center posted a blog about his net neutrality position, Anuzis called the Center and told Senior Communications Director Michael Jahr that the piece was inaccurate. Anuzis said he had supported the concept of net neutrality before Democrats "co-opted" the issue and that he had not written about the topic in at least "three or four years." The blog post was briefly taken down so the matter could be clarified. Anuzis wrote in a later e-mail that he does "not support the Democrats' version of what is referred to as net neutrality."

However, Anuzis had written about the issue on his "That’s Saul Folks" blog on Sept. 18, 2009, when Democrats controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress. In that piece, Anuzis stated that "Net neutrality isn’t a Democrat or a Republican issue… it is a fairness issue."

He continued: "Net neutrality is not only fair… it makes common sense." He continued, "We should not let greedy companies profit even more by having government regulate away our current 'net neutral' roadways because of their lobbying prowess, power or cash."

Kenneth Braun, policy analyst for the Mackinac Center, disagrees with Anuzis’ position on the controversial issue.

"Generally speaking, Anuzis has been a solid friend to free-market candidates in Michigan, and the nation could certainly benefit from this," said Braun. "However, Anuzis’ past support for net neutrality is a serious exception to that. The GOP takeover of the U.S. House put this bad idea on ice and gave us an underappreciated victory for property rights, prosperity and progress. It would be a tragedy to give that up."

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.