What Corruption Looks Like: FCC Commissioner Takes Job At Comcast Months After She Voted To Approve Its Deal With NBC Universal

from the revolving-doors dept

A lot of folks are shaking their heads after learning that FCC commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker is leaving her post to take a lobbying job at Comcast just a few months after she voted to approve Comcast's massive purchase of NBC Universal. Now, let's be clear: there's nothing illegal in her taking this job. While she can't lobby the FCC for two years, she can lobby Congress or other parts of the government. And, it doesn't mean that she's corrupt at all. But it's this kind of move that makes people trust our government less and highlights why so many people believe that our government is corrupt.

When you have a massive revolving door, in which the people voting on important deals for companies are likely to get massive salary increases in jobs from those same companies a few months later, it's certainly going to make plenty of people assume corruption, even if there isn't any. So even if it's not corruption in the classical sense, it's hard not to see this as a form of regulatory capture. Baker's term is up in June, but it had been expected she would be re-nominated and would stay. But, making this decision so soon after voting on such a huge deal for the FCC certainly raises some questions about when she started talking to Comcast about a job and when she even decided she was looking for a different job.

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  1. identicon
    MrWilson, 12 May 2011 @ 9:21am

    Even if it weren't overt, money-in-a-briefcase-passed-under-the-table corruption, this is still corruption. Whether its the person or the system, something is corrupt if this is happening. Even without this revolving door activity, just the approval of the Comcast/NBC deal denotes either corruption or incompetence. If its incompetence, then it's also negligence. The deal had nothing to do with benefits for consumers, unless by benefits we mean that getting screwed is a benefit or having fewer choices to drive up competition and drive down prices.

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