Free Press Seeking Financial Support

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Buoyed by Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski's network neutrality speech Monday, Free Press is trying to use the announcement of expanding Internet rules to build its financial base, money that would go, in part, toward developing an electronic tracking system for lawmakers' views on an open Internet.

In an e-mail sent out Tuesday, the group said the chairman's "new plans to expand Internet protections" were a big step toward its goal of network neutrality. It also said it had a "generous supporter" who would donate $100,000 toward lobbying for new proposed rules and a network neutrality bill if Free Press supporters could pony up the same amount.

Free Press said it plans to use the money to, among other things, compile a database of lawmakers' stance on network neutrality and "push back against industry spin in the media and on Capitol Hill."

The group said it will need the monetary muscle to battle "well-funded corporations like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast [that] have launched a massive campaign to stop the FCC rule and strong arm lawmakers from moving on the net Neutrality bill."