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FCC Commissioner Leaves To Become Lobbyist 309

Posted by samzenpus
from the passing-the-smell-test dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the FCC Commissioners, is leaving the FCC to become a lobbyist for Comcast-NBC, just four months after approving their merger deal. She refused to put any significant conditions on the merger, saying that the deal would 'bring exciting benefits to consumers that outweigh potential harms.' Comcast has released an official statement saying that, 'Meredith's executive branch and business experience along with her exceptional relationships in Washington bring Comcast and NBCUniversal the perfect combination of skills.'"
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FCC Commissioner Leaves To Become Lobbyist

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  • Revolving Door (Score:5, Insightful)

    by elohel (1582481) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:26PM (#36100016)
    Revolving door. Enough said. Honestly, I'm tired of caring about it. Action will only happen when people begin to truly feel the effects. Logic is lost on the masses.
  • Corruption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:27PM (#36100030) Homepage Journal

    Corruption just seems to be getting more and more visible and obvious, and nobody with the power to stop it gives a damn.

  • Weird Statement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Adambomb (118938) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:28PM (#36100050) Journal

    Odd for a lobbyist to say something like "bring exciting benefits to consumers that outweigh potential harms", which confirms they believe there is a potential for abuses. A statement like that practically begs for someone to ask what these benefits are exactly, that she was able to even make such a statement.

  • This is SO wrong.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by yossie (93792) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:28PM (#36100056)

    If by 'Meredith's executive branch and business experience along with her exceptional relationships in Washington bring Comcast and NBCUniversal the perfect combination of skills.' they mean that she accepts bribes, er, a job offer from the people she JUST granted a favor to, then, YES.

  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:35PM (#36100106) Journal

    Translation: Meredith's dedication to serving us during her tenure as FCC Commissioner, and her willingness to betray every principle, ethical or moral, makes her a perfect fit for our corporate atmosphere, much as a piece of shit makes a perfect fit for a septic tank. We look forward to long years of benefiting from her betrayal of the American people.

  • by boristdog (133725) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:36PM (#36100116)

    When my father retired from NASA, he had to wait two years before he could work for anyone who did any business with NASA.

    Apparently this sort of thing doesn't apply to political appointees.

    LBJ much?

  • Non-compete (Score:5, Insightful)

    by macraig (621737) <(mark.a.craig) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:36PM (#36100118)

    It's a sad testimonial to the lopsided state of our nation's political system when we need non-compete clauses for elected and appointed officials to prevent them from leaping to the Dark Side immediately after their terms end.

  • 3...2...1.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Virtucon (127420) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:36PM (#36100124)

    The next sound you hear will be bunch of grandstanding Senators investigating her. Give it a week, 10 days tops.

    This is plain and simple fraud.

    "Meredith's executive branch and business experience along with her exceptional relationships in Washington bring Comcast and NBCUniversal the perfect combination of skills." - means we bought the bitch a long time ago, we just are now taking possession.

  • Re:Disgusting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saneshark (2143176) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:40PM (#36100162)
    Everything that is wrong with politics and lobbying. Make lobbying illegal, dethrone corporate power.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:45PM (#36100232)

    Progressives have a lot to answer for.

    As long as the citizenry believe that one party or the other are too blame then the citizens are just useful idiots. Conservatives like to consolidate power too, it's just you probably happen to agree with their reasons for doing it so it's ok. It's those lousy progressives. Also, in this particular instance it was the lack of using that consolidated power that is the problem.

  • Re:Corruption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:45PM (#36100234) Journal

    No kidding. The fact that the DoJ isn't as we speak executing a search warrant on her offices, her home and of the corporate headquarters of Comcast-NBC as her and the CEO and board of director's legal teams are being instructed not to leave the country indicates just how pathetic the justice system has become, and just how willing the big players are to flaunt it.

  • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:48PM (#36100276) Journal

    So, no lobbying the White House, but Congress is fair game.

    Tells you a lot about Congress.

  • Back to Basics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:57PM (#36100346)
    Shouldn't lobbying be Illegal ?
  • Re:Corruption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tx (96709) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:58PM (#36100356) Journal

    It shouldn't have to come to that. It's shocking that this is allowed; it should be in the contract when you sign up to work for a public body like the FCC that you can't then work for any company whose business you were involved in for at least x years.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @07:05PM (#36100426)

    How can you make lobbying illegal? Politicians need to be able to talk to people to do their job, so you can really ban lobbying. I think what you mean is lobbyists should be arrested because of all the shady, back room stuff they seem to do. I don't think the problem is that there aren't enough laws and regulations, so much as it is that the stakes are so high that no punitive measures are grave enough to discourage people from engaging in these kinds of activities. The only real solution is to not consolidate so much power and authority in one place. That would limit the scope of abuses, and it would reduce the rewards of engaging in this kind of behavior (which should reduce the number of people willing to participate in it).

  • Re:Back to Basics (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @07:34PM (#36100744)

    How do you define lobbying? If you're talking about something to do with money and gifts, it's already illegal, but hard to enforce.
    In the ordinary definition of the word, lobbying is "petitioning the government for a redress of grievances".

  • by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @07:37PM (#36100768)

    How can you make lobbying illegal?

    By making paid lobbying illegal.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @07:48PM (#36100860)

    In other words that XO is completely ineffective, since lawmakers don't work in the executive office, and she's free to Lobby congressmembers all she desires. Starting immediately.

    Not completely ineffective, just not as effective as we'd like. The next FCC commissioner, for example, cannot have her over to discuss what Comcast would like changed by the FCC. That is a real benefit. The problem being that most people don't give a damn and are too easily distracted by other issues so they don't vote out the corrupt legislators that don't pass a similar ban.

    It is actually quite interesting. The so called Tea Party is a combination grassroots movement and lobbyist/PR firm funded movement that manages to focus completely on issues other than lobbying. This is an issue where the vast majority of Americans: Democrat, Republican, and independent are in agreement. Not many people think it should be legal for companies and foreign governments to give gifts to or meet with lawmakers or provide them with campaign funds. It's just that people are too distracted by other issues to gather together behind reform candidates and vote on it. There is some chance, this is the purpose of the Tea Party, to prevent a real grassroots movement that does end up rooting out corruption and banning most lobbying.

  • Re:Revolving Door (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @07:55PM (#36100934)

    We already do feel the effects. Higher prices, rubbish/no customer service, lack of a true open market, marketing/advertisers tracking everything you do.
    When the laws have failed us I see no reason to abide by those laws. I now ignore any law created to protect corporations.

  • by JDAustin (468180) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @08:12PM (#36101094)

    Because Republicans are progressives... all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt.

    She wasn't a progressive but a statist. And yes, you can have Republican statist but getting rid of them is one of the reasons why we have the tea parties.

  • by mr_mischief (456295) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @09:24PM (#36101766) Journal

    Privacy is a right. What do you think it means to be secure in your person, papers, and effects? If they're all public that's not very secure.

  • by Wandering Idiot (563842) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @10:34PM (#36102244)
    You are assuming that things like company towns and stores and oppressive corporate control in general is something that would happen by default without government regulation.

    Why wouldn't they be? Unregulated monopolies are a great business model! (They just generally suck for everyone but the owners of the company) And why would it matter if "the public actually starts to care about specific abuses" if the government has no regulatory power to do anything about them?
  • by Nimey (114278) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @11:26PM (#36102576) Homepage Journal

    The teabaggers are what the Soviets would have called useful idiots. They'll be baited along just like the Christian evangelicals, being told "if you'll just vote enough Republicans into office all your problems will go away!", and somehow never figuring out that they're being had.

We want to create puppets that pull their own strings. - Ann Marion

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