Gigi Sohn, President Biden’s pick for the Federal Communications Commission — and a champion of net neutrality and consumer rights — has withdrawn her nomination following an onslaught of attacks by industry lobbyists. On Tuesday, conservative Democrat Joe Manchin confirmed he would not vote to confirm Sohn. Companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast killed her nomination over Sohn’s support of net neutrality and low-cost broadband. Right-wing outlets also launched a homophobic smear campaign against Sohn, who is gay.
She said in a statement, “It is a sad day for our country and our democracy when dominant industries, with assistance from unlimited dark money, get to choose their regulators. And with the help of their friends in the Senate, the powerful cable and media companies have done just that.” The FCC, which should have five commissioners, has been at a partisan two-to-two deadlock since December 2020.