President Biden’s pick to head the FCC has many Republicans sounding the alarm.
Gigi Sohn, one of President Biden’s nominees to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is raising the hackles of congressional Republicans, who point to her reputation as a hard-left partisan.
Republicans fear that Sohn, who previously led a liberal group called Public Knowledge, would weaponize the agency for political purposes.
Sohn has called on the FCC to “look at whether” Sinclair Broadcast, which is known as a conservative-leaning company, “is qualified to be a broadcast licensee at all.” She also ridiculed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as an “angry white man” during his confirmation hearings.
Sohn has also donated roughly $30,000 to Democrats over the last two decades, including $6,675 to Obama for America and Obama Victory Fund, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records. She also donated almost $5,000 to President Biden’s 2020 campaign and $1,861 to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign.
“Sohn is a deeply divisive pick with a track record of hard-left advocacy,” an unnamed former FCC official told Fox News.
“Her public animus towards mainstream conservative outlets renders her unfit to serve as a regulator over the communications industry,” the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid professional repercussions.
“This is a commission that has an enormous amount of power,” Phil Kerpen, president of the free-market group American Commitment, told Fox News.
“It’s supposed to be a serious, collegial body with sort of impartial expertise, and I think when you have someone highly ideological and comes from an advocacy background, even if she otherwise has the appropriate qualifications, it undermines the idea of an expert agency when you have someone who’s known as an advocate.”
“Gigi Sohn is a complete political ideologue who has disdain for conservatives. She would be a complete nightmare for the country when it comes to regulating the public airwaves,” Sen. Lindsey Graham wrote on Twitter this week.
“I will do everything in my power to convince colleagues on both sides of the aisle to reject this extreme nominee,” Graham added.
“Ms. Sohn seems to believe that the state is endorsing conservative speech by allowing cable companies to carry it. She also has suggested using the FCC’s power over broadcast licenses to censor conservative outlets,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote in a column opposing Sohn’s nomination this week.
Earlier this month, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told Politico that he believed Sohn would be “Big Government stepping on the scales.”
“Sohn, obviously, her views are going to be very far apart from where mine are on all the issues,” Thune said. “She’s very left, she’s going to be a heavy hand in regulation, very heavy in net neutrality.”
The White House praised Sohn when officially announcing her nomination in October, stating that she has defended broadband access for years and noted she would be the first openly LGBTIQ+ FCC commissioner.
“For over thirty years, Gigi has worked to defend and preserve the fundamental competition and innovation policies that have made broadband Internet access more ubiquitous, competitive, affordable, open, and protective of user privacy. If she is confirmed, Gigi would be the first openly LGBTIQ+ Commissioner in the history of the FCC,” reads a White House press release.