FCC Commish-Turned-Lobbyist Can't See What All The Controversy Is About
from the tone-deaf-to-the-very-end dept
FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker has been receiving a ton of criticism for taking a high level lobbying job at Comcast just months after approving its huge merger with NBC Universal. The response has been almost universally to condemn Baker in a move that smacks of the corruption of regulatory capture and the revolving door between corporations and the government that regulates them. I had been wondering if all of this publicity would lead to Baker backing down and no longer taking the job (only to take a similar job, more quietly, down the road). But, instead, it looks like she’s digging in her heels and insisting that nothing (nothing!) improper is going on here. She claims she hadn’t even considered taking a job until months (months!) after the merger was approved:
Until late this spring, my plan was to seek renomination for a second term as Commissioner. That was true all through the winter during consideration of the Comcast/NBCUniversal transaction and in the months after it was completed.
Not once in my entire tenure as a Commissioner had anyone at Comcast or NBCUniversal approached me about potential employment. When this opportunity became available in mid- April, I made a personal decision that I wanted to give it serious consideration.
Nowhere in Baker’s statement does she even come close to acknowledging the concerns that people have raised. Instead, she claims that she’s been extra ethical in that she’s “gone further” than what the law requires:
I have not only complied with the legal and ethical laws, but I also have gone further. I have not participated or voted any item, not just those related to Comcast or NBCUniversal, since entering discussions about an offer of potential employment. Because of this, I plan to depart the Commission as soon as I am able to ensure an orderly wind-down of my office.
Well, isn’t that nice.
Filed Under: fcc, lobbying, meredith attwell baker
Comments on “FCC Commish-Turned-Lobbyist Can't See What All The Controversy Is About”
Wow, she really has failed upwards.
Sorry, lady….. what you did is NOT ethical in the slightest and REEKS of corruption. It’s time to admit that and for the government to set aside the decision on the Comcast merger until these questions are answered and they can investigate whether other people might have been as corrupt as you are!
I swear….. it’s people like this woman who get me angry at our system of government.
One could say that her actions have been extra-ethical.
Re: I suppose...
I wonder if these exact words were used by the people convicted in the Air Force tanker contract scandal at Beoing.
She’s ‘extra’ ethical only until it comes out she’s not.
Re: Re: I suppose...
I think the grandparent was using “extra” in the sense of “outside of”.
Re: Re: Re: I suppose...
I can’t believe he didn’t get that …
“Instead, she claims that she’s been extra ethical in that she’s “gone further” than what the law requires: “
and that’s the problem, the law doesn’t require enough.
True that….. the law should require that when you vote on something that a company is involved in, you are FORBIDDEN from owning stock in that company, taking any gifts from that company, or working for that company for AT LEAST 5 years… better lifetime!
Re: Re: Re:
What if she went and worked for another company and the company ended up buying her company? Would she be forced to resign?
Re: Re: Re: Re:
Did she take that job knowing of the impending merger?
Did she put forth legislation or make any decisions that would facilitate the merger?
If the answer is “Yes.” to either question the the obvious answer would be “Yes, she should resign.”
Come on, don’t you know that legal, moral and ethical are all the same thing? They just made different words for English majors!
Re: legal laws
Sorry, but “legal” and “moral” are most definitely NOT the same thing. It wasn’t that long ago, historically, that it was legal to buy/own/sell humans as slaves. Are you willing to argue that because is was legal that is was also moral?
Re: Re: legal laws
You need to check your sarcasm meter.
Re: Re: Moral To Own Slaves?
The Christian Bible seems to see it as a moral act.
Keeping up appearances
I have worked in government in various capacities, and I have always understood clearly that I must avoid even the APPEARANCE of impropriety. This goes far beyond appearances…
Re: Keeping up appearances
I work for a company who does a lot of work with the US Government and every year we must complete ethics training. They very deffinitly drill home the idea that even if an action is legal but the appearance of that action might be interpreted as unethical, then that action is a serious offence against the companies ethical standards and is subject to dicipline. That such a high ranking official in the government does not grasp that concept is…. suspicious?
Re: Re: Keeping up appearances
“That such a high ranking official in the government does not grasp that concept”
If you have dealt with any politician recently they are slightly off their nut. It’s like the party is about to end and they are getting frantic because there is nothing they can do about it. It reminds me of the fall of Rome in some ways. I am waiting for the offical white house orgy invite to leak ending in B.Y.O.S. (Bring Your Own Sheep).
They never once offered me a job, until they did and I took it.
Why would this happen if legit
If I was Comcast and I had a FCC commissioner who saw things my way, I wouldn’t be offering her jobs to take her away from that position.
Isn’t an FCC commisioner in your corner more valuable to Comcast than having another lobbyist?
Re: Why would this happen if legit
well if i were an fcc commissioner in comcast pocket and I knew that they really wanted somehting bad i would make them pull me out of my precarious corrupted position and give me a nice cushy desk job with an air tight contract and if comcast has ever wanted anything its for this merger to go through
Re: Why would this happen if legit
Well, perhaps, if it wasn’t likely that her successor will be exactly the same.
Re: Why would this happen if legit
You gotta think long term. The next commissioner will be just as easily bought. And after spending a few years “working in business” they can get this one elected to just make the laws instead of (not)enforcing them.
Complaint: “Even if you’re being honest, your behavior has the appearance of corruption.”
Response: “But I’m being really, really honest!”
If only self-awareness was something you could inject, like insulin.
“I’m honest, trust me.”
Re: Re: Re:
but … but … the cherry tree
and that government of the CORPORATIONS, by the CORPORATIONS, for the CORPORATIONS, shall not perish from the earth.
I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine. But I’ll be extra ethical about it!
She is fully aware of the revolving door and the connection to corruption. She is highly intelligent and ruthless. She decided long ago that she would engage in corrupt behavior. She is lying very cleverly and deliberately about the course of events leading up to her appointment. She is in trouble and she knows it. She is now trying to lie her way out of trouble. Do not buy it, people.
She knows what she is doing and the directors of Comcast are fully-aware co-conspirators.
Re: She Knows
I wonder if people could get slapped with “perverting the course of justice” charges for doing things like that. Because if they can’t, you done fucked up.
Thanks for doing that, at the very least...
“Because of this, I plan to depart the Commission as soon as I am able to ensure an orderly wind-down of my office.
Will said “wind-down” include instructions on how to project a “deer-in-the-headlights” sort of innocent naivete? Or is that just something the incoming appointee will have to practice in front of the mirror during his or her downtime?
So, in other words, she has been neglecting her duties as a Commissioner in their entirety. Yet despite not doing her job “since entering discussions,” she’s presumably still been accepting her paychecks. Now that’s what I call ethical behavior!
are very good at covering their own misdeeds. Personally I think she’s simply another opportunist, making the right votes then getting cushy job outside. Any politician knows how to come up with excuses for anything, up to and including murder.
It’s even working the other way; the RIAA/MPAA attorneys are now working for the DOJ, which to me sounds like hiring foxes to keep order in the henhouse. Sometimes I wonder if the DOJ attorneys from the RIAA/MPAA still receive checks that are not from the government.
“I have not participated or voted any item, not just those related to Comcast or NBCUniversal”
wait so why she is flushing out her cushy new job in the private sector she is wasting tax payer money by not fulfilling the job she is getting payed to do at the fcc. I think that perfectly highlight why this is a conflict of interest even in the opposite way of what you might think
Her allowing the merger was in itself corruption, yet alone her taking a job with them.
“It is difficult to get a woman to understand something when her job depends on not understanding it.”