Game’s not over, but let’s check the halftime score.
Senator John Boozman seems to get it. In a statement on his official Facebook page (which you can read without being a member), Senator Boozman says:
Over the past few weeks, the chorus of concerns over Congressional efforts to address online piracy has intensified. I can say, with all honesty, that the feedback I received from Arkansans has been overwhelmingly in opposition to the Senate bill (S.968, the PROTECT IP Act) in its current form. That is why I am announcing today that I intend to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act.
I will have my name removed as a co-sponsor of the bill and plan to vote against it if Majority Leader Reid brings it to the floor in its current form.
Senator Mark Pryor, also on Facebook, says:
While I commend the ongoing efforts to prevent online piracy, I am concerned that the Protect IP Act (PIPA) has too many unanswered questions and could lead to many unintended consequences. We need a solution that will protect intellectual property without restricting American’s rights to an open Internet. I believe we can do better, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to find a solution.
And again on Facebook, Rep. Steve Womack:
I share some of your concerns with this bill and am looking forward to working with my colleagues to craft a meaningful bill that protects American ingenuity without infringing upon the rights of American citizens.
I could ask for much stronger, more definitive statements of Senator Pryor and Rep. Womack’s intentions to vote against PIPA and SOPA, respectively; as such, both of them will be hearing from me. Again.
I appreciate Senator Boozman’s forthrightness in clearly stating his intentions to vote against PIPA. I’ll admit that I didn’t vote for Mr. Boozman in 2010; his predecessor, Senator Blanche Lincoln, was always very responsive to local issues. At a point when the bank holding our mortgage was ready to foreclose on our home a few years ago, because they couldn’t keep up with their own records to save their souls, the only thing that got the bank in question to stop and take another look and figure out that the problem was on their end was the intervention of Senator Lincoln and her staff on our behalf. I was keen to avoid seeing her voted out, but it just didn’t work out that way. I haven’t been crazy about Senator Boozman’s voting record of the last year, but I appreciate him hearing his constituents out on this one and making his intentions crystal clear.
Like the old saying goes, keep those cards and letters coming. Don’t start the fight without finishing it. Who knows, you might have just changed the world. If you’re not from northwest Arkansas, check up on your Congresscritters and find out which way they’re leaning. Apply pressure to prop them up in the right direction if necessary.