As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’ve historically been less than a fan of our local Congressman, Mike Doyle, mainly because he seemed like someone who didn’t quite “get it”. Admittedly, some of that was bad experiences when I and some fellow CMU students went to Washington to ask for support of specific legislations, but there were also things like his Center for Manufacturing Technology — a focus on things that are dead and gone, as opposed to the industries that are likely to be the new lifeblood of our region.
I saw a glimmer of hope after the Girl Talk incident, and after this past Monday, I think it’s time to change my tune. The good Congressman flexed a bit of muscle and brought the entire FCC to Pittsburgh, so that they could hear from a combination of academics, entrepreneurs, and even neighborhood groups about why a free and open Internet is important to maintain. (Aside from supporting things like bloggers who want to run our mouths off, I mean.) Of course, it doesn’t hurt that with the world’s largest collection of super-geeks sitting right there in Oakland, a lot of the companies who make millions off the future Internet will start right here in Pittsburgh. That’s as good a use of legislative power as I’ve seen lately, and I hope we’ll be seeing a lot more of it.