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ACA Officials Salute Retiring Sen. Kohl As Champion of Competition

Four-term Senator Herb Kohl said May 13 that he will not seek re-election in 2011, a retirement announcement that prompted American Cable Association officials to honor the Wisconsin Democrat's service as a champion of consumers and competition in communications markets across the country.

ACA Vice Chairwoman Colleen Abdoulah, who is Chairwoman & CEO of WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone, issued a statement hailing Kohl's dedication and commitment to principles that benefit all Americans.

"On vital matters to small cable operators, ACA could always rely on Sen. Kohl for a fair hearing to ensure that those with the most lobbying clout didn't win every policy battle on Capitol Hill by default,"  Abdoulah said.

Kohl, 76, was re-elected in 2006 with 67 percent of the vote. He had been listed by the Cook Political Report, a prominent nonpartisan newsletter, as a solid favorite to win another a new six-year term next year.

In her statement, Abdoulah underscored Kohl's importance to ACA in the government's review of the Comcast Corp. merger with NBC Universal, the most significant media transaction in at least a decade. In February 2010, Abdoulah testified for ACA before Sen. Kohl's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights to stress that the Comcast-NBCU transaction would harm consumers and competition without meaningful conditions.

"My ability to appear before Sen. Kohl's panel allowed ACA to participate in the merger debate at a high level and eventually persuade officials at the Federal Communications Commission and Department of Justice to adopt pro-consumer conditions before permitting Comcast and NBCU to join forces. I will never forget the assistance Sen. Kohl offered ACA on a matter of great importance to its entire membership,"  Abdoulah said.

ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka joined Abdoulah in underscoring that
Sen. Kohl served his country with great honor and distinction and deserved the highest recognition possible for the influential role he played in seeing that consumers are served by a competitive communications market.

"To his lasting credit, Sen. Kohl could always be counted on to ask the right questions in probing whether all consumers would truly benefit from a pending acquisition, a proposed regulation or a Senate floor amendment under debate," Polka said. "By fighting for the little guy and resisting the power of big corporations, Sen. Kohl was indeed a profile in courage. Any lawmaker who wants to establish a pro-consumer agenda that is also mindful of the special concerns of small business need only consult the laudable record of achievement that Sen. Kohl leaves as his legacy to a grateful nation."

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