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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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  • Re:Just Wrong (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @05:47PM (#36100262)

    I thought there was a law against this.... Don't you have to wait two or so years before you can do this???

    Congress refuses to pass a law. The Obama administration, on the other hand, issued an executive order the very first day banning lobbying by former members of the administration to executive branch employees. So because the legislative body is corrupt, she can lobby Congress. The executive is slightly less corrupt, so she theoretically can't talk to former co-workers or anyone in the executive branch (including the FCC) about law and policy changes without that member of the executive being fired. That's about as close to honest as we've been able to come in recent decades.

  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @05:49PM (#36100286)

    The funny thing is that this person is a conservative Republican with such choice quotes as:

    “I’m afraid we are endangering a really important agenda. . . by pushing forward with a partisan, big-government regulatory issue [net neutrality] that has no immediate need for us to act,” Baker said.

    Yep, that sounds very much like a progressive to me. Oh wait...

  • Re:3...2...1.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @05:51PM (#36100300) Journal

    They owned her before she was appointed. It was how she was selected to be appointed. She's not leaving anything. This is a promotion in the same de facto organization.

  • My press release (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Morris Thorpe (762715) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @06:00PM (#36100388)

    For Immediate release

    Comcast-NBC announced today that Meredith Attwell Baker is joining the company as a lobbyist.

    In our previous professional dealings, the company has found Attwell Baker to be wide open to hard and long discussions. Though faced with difficult positions, Attwell Baker was always flexible and willing to prod new and unexplored avenues. The drippings of our mutual efforts leave a permanent mark on the fabric of America and its citizens.

    Comcast-NBC will introduce Attwell Baker Thursday morning. Just as soon as she cleans her chin.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @07:07PM (#36101036)

    So only people who are unemployed can talk to politicians. Or do you want to make it illegal to give someone that particular job title? Do you see what I'm getting at?

    I think you're being particularly obtuse. There is no reason that you can't give anyone any job title you like so long as they are not a government official. What laws should do is make it illegal for corporations and foreign governments and organizations receiving donations from either to contribute money to election funds; run political advertisements; or provide gifts, food, travel/travel expenses, entertainment, lodging, etc. to anyone in political office (elected or appointed) or to their relatives.

    Sure you may not be able to ban individuals from going to visit congress critters and appointed officials, but you can sure as hell make them less likely to be received since they won't be bearing gifts or swaying an election in exchange for wink wink whatever. Sadly because of absurd Supreme Court rulings, such a law would most likely require a constitutional amendment, one that specifically states corporations are not individuals with the rights of individuals. I actually think this is doable as a grassroots reform movement and people could really get behind an independent party or group of politicians honestly trying to reform the laws and clean up the system. It certainly has popular support.

  • by sonamchauhan (587356) <sonamc@gm a i l .com> on Wednesday May 11, 2011 @09:10PM (#36102080) Journal

    "Politicians need to be able to talk to people to do their job,... "

    And they need paid lobbyists to do that?

    Politicians may as well auction off their policy positions on their website...
    "$10000 to my re-election fund bans toxic waste, Or not."

    Anyway, that's besides the point. The simplest thing to do would in this case would be to ban any paid work (for a "cooling off" period) for any entity you had government authority over. This hiatus helps undue influence cool off, and hinders possible abuses of authority (Commissioner: "I am looking into your merger plans. By the way, does your firm hire lobbyists ... I'm thinking of a career shift in a few months". Company: "Uh, yes - you'll have to wait 2 years though". Commissioner:"Okkkay").

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken