There’s nothing neutral about the FCC’s partisan politics

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The Federal Communications Commission split along partisan lines in its vote on net neutrality rules: All three Democrats voted for the proposal, while the two Republicans opposed it.

That may be not be surprising, considering the issue at hand pits large businesses against grass-roots consumer advocates. But the vote is also evidence of the internal frictions between the FCC's Democratic majority and Republican minority.

The nation's top telecommunications regulator is composed of five members, each nominated by the president and approved by Congress.

Generally, the only time we get to see those members interact is when they appear before the public at the commission's monthly open meeting. In recent weeks, though, we've had brief glimpses of their behind-the-scenes relationship, thanks to unusually public statements about the inner workings of the agency.

Republican commissioner Ajit Pai complained that the Democrats recently sent him a revised draft of a proposal at the last minute, forcing him to compare both drafts in the wee hours of the night to see what had changed. There apparently are divisions within the majority party, too. Democratic commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel opened her remarks by flatly: "I support the open Internet, but I would've done this differently."

There’s nothing neutral about the FCC’s partisan politics