Response from Michael Powell on McCain's tech plan

Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell sent me this response to my criticism of John McCain’s technology policies. Something is wrong with the comments function on this blog (I’m working on it), so I’m posting it directly.

Oh Kevin, I like you too.  Your usual intellectual honesty, however, seems to have gone missing in this post.  I guess that is what political swooning can do—blind the infatuated to the facts. John McCain has been a leader on tech policy for years and his record on creating the climate for innovation and entrepreneurial activity dwarfs that of the esteemed Senator Obama.  Maybe personal attacks on McCain and his supporters are calculated to mask that glaring gap. McCain understands that the President does not invent anything, patent anything, craft and fund a business model, or hire the skilled workforce necessary to bring inventive ideas to market.  Private entrepreneurs do that and they do care—as apparently you do not—about having access to global markets, tax policy that rewards risk and domestic investment, and access to skilled labor.   Many tech luminaries, including John Chambers, Meg Whitman, Michael Dell, and Marc Benioff, support his comprehensive approach to innovation.

When I was FCC Chairman and John McCain oversaw the Commission we re-directed a backward looking agency towards forward looking tech policies—more unlicensed and broadband spectrum, an expedited DTV transition, thoughtful consumer protection like Do Not Call, the Four Freedoms for internet consumers and an open network, and I pushed—with Senator McCain’s support—policies that stimulated fiber deployments and promoted concrete competition among different platform providers.  (And I supported the line sharing policy you cite favorably, which was blocked by the two Democrats on the FCC who likely will remain in an Obama administration).

Make no mistake. Innovation is the engine of our Age and critical to solving vexing problems facing our Nation and the world. These matters are so important I would only support a President that has experience with the issues and will use his office to lead.  That is John McCain.

-Michael Powell