BENNET KELLEY has distinguished himself in law, politics and journalism. For example:
Bennet has built a reputation as one of the nation's leading internet lawyers.
Bennet was the Co-Founder and National Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee's Saxophone Club, its young professional and fundraising arm during the Clinton era.
Bennet also is a three-time winner of the LA Press Club's Southern California Journalism Awards and is the first Huffington Post contributor to win a journalism award.
His experience in law and politics are detailed separately below.
Bennet currently practices at the Internet Law Center in Santa Monica, California which he founded in 2007 after working in-house with technology, e-commerce and internet advertising companies such as ETM Entertainment Network, Network Commerce and ValueClick.
He has been named as among the nation's top internet lawyers by several publications including the Los Angeles Business Journal which named him one of the Most Infuential Lawyers in Digital Media and E-Commerce. He frequently appears or is quoted in television, radio and print stories on internet legal developments, including appearing on The Today Show.
Bennet was Co-Chair of the California Bar Cyberspace Committee where he led the effort to develop a primer on cyberspace law for state policy makers. He is a frequent presenter at conferences worldwide and has been a contributor to the Journal of Internet Lawand E-Commerce Law and Policy. He also is publisher of the firm's newsletter and blog, Cyber Report, which was named top newsletter by the Los Angeles Press Club in 2011.
In 2012, he was selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce to be part of the U.S. delegation and present on e-commerce law at the 17th U.S.-China Legal Exchange. The prior year he was part of a delegation of a dozen North American internet experts who met with leading Chinese netizens to promote greater freedom within China.
Bennet is also the creator and host of Cyber Law and Business Report (CLBR) which has aired weekly on WebmasterRadio.fm since 2011. In 2014, CLBR organized and aired the only Silicon Beach debate featuring most of the leading candidates in the race to fill retiring Congressman Henry Waxman's seat.
Beginning with Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell's 1978 reelection campaign, Bennet has been active in politics for over 30 years. He has provided strategic advice for several candidates and was Co-Founder of the Democratic National Committee's Saxophone Club, its young professional outreach and fundraising arm, from 1992 to 1998. He also was a member of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party Central Committee in the early 2000's and was part of the Obama 2012 anti-voter suppression effort in Florida.
Prior to starting his legal practice, Bennet worked for one of Washington's leading lobbyists at Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, covering a broad range of issues from banking, insurance, energy, international trade, nuclear waste and privacy. Bennet's first lobbying experience was at the age of 17 when he lobbied Members of the Rhode Island General Assembly on health care reform for the Catholic social justice organization Network.
Bennet launched BushLies.net in January 2003. The blog was cited in John Dean's Worse Than Watergate and other publications and praised by Columbia Journalism Review for being one of the first to see Iraq deceptions as part of Bush's M.O. Bennet also is a contributing author to Big Bush Lies: 20 Essays and a List of the 50 Most Telling Lies of George W. Bush (RiverWood Books 2004).
Since 2005, Bennet has been a regular contributor to Huffington Post, Democratic Underground and the Santa Monica Daily Press. and is a 3-time winner of the Los Angeles Press Club's Southern California Journalism Award.
Bennet has provided political analysis and insight to television, radio and print media ranging from CNBC to the Washington Times. In 2008, he teamed up with conservative political consultant Jim Ellis to provide spirited left-right commentary with a dose of humor for live events, radio and television. The pair were weekly featured guests on one of BlogTalkRadio's top political talk shows.
Bennet grew up in Providence, Rhode Island as the youngest of seven children. He is named after his late uncle, Rev. Bennet Kelley (an author of Catholic religious books). His father, Paul Kelley, was a decorated World War II veteran flew 27 missions over Germany and returned to serve twenty-nine years as Assistant Public Defender for the state of Rhode Island. He is the charter member of the RIPD Hall of Fame.
His father also was a past president and member of the board of directors of the West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation, which named a building in his honor. Bennet's childhood home has been converted to housing units for families with AIDS and is also named in his father's honor.
Bennet attended La Salle Academy where he was Valedictorian. He left Rhode Island for Washington, D.C., earning a B.S. in Political Science from The American University and also graduating magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He also has completed coursework in in Urban Planning at Johns Hopkins University and in Writing at UCLA.
In 1994, Bennet moved to Southern California and currently resides in Santa Monica, California.