Thursday, May 12, 2011

FCC Cmr. Baker Takes the Cake in New Role as Comcast Veep

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 4:  Comcast Chairman...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeMeredith Atwell Baker, one of two Republican commissioners on the FCC who voted in the 4-1 majority to allow Comcast to purchase NBC Universal (see "TUOL" post 1/18/11), is leaving the regulatory agency at the end of June to become senior vice president for government affairs for Comcast, The Washington Post reported today.

Baker, who served in the Commerce Dept. during the Bush Administration, will be barred forever from lobbying any executive agency, including the FCC, which was one of the conditions for approval of the Comcast/NBC union. Likewise, having signed the Obama Administration's ethics pledge in 2009, she had already agreed not to lobby any FCC personnel for two years after she left the agency.

She can, however, immediately on assuming her new position, focus her efforts on lobbying members of Congress--the best and the brightest public officials money can buy--on the cable giant's behalf. The rules permit regulatory federal government agency members to go to work for companies in industries in which their former agencies are supposed to serve as watchdogs, which is why true reform in Washington, D.C., like the reception Comcast subscribers in certain parts of the country experience, is hard to come by.
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