Comcast Mega-Corp Shoveling Money At FCC Subcommittee
from the making-it-rain dept
For a long time, people have argued over whether or not corporate lobbying was legalized bribery or protected speech. It's a fascinating argument to me, personally, mostly because I don't understand why we're arguing over such a silly question. Let's just pretend I came up with some kind of awesome prose that dutifully began with a reference to the fact that NSA supporters in our government were paid off by defense contractors, deftly moved on to mention that roughly half of our proud public servants in Congress jump ship for lobbying gigs, and finish it all off with me just shouting the name Chris Dodd at you, and we can all get back to the business of not doing anything to stop this obvious bribery. Or, rather, we can get back to it in a moment, right after I tell you all about how Comcast gives the subcommittee controlling the FCC roughly all of the money.
Comcast has been among the top corporate donors to members of Congress, and following the money shows that they have been focusing their giving on members of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, which has jurisdiction over the Federal Communications Commission.These numbers may not seem staggering, but you're thinking about them in terms of corporate levels, not government bribery. In the game of bribing the folks directly involved in overseeing the overseeing body that Comcast has to worry about with their Time Warner merger, they're amongst the top contributors. That's all that matters, not the totals. Anyone else see a problem with this?
-House members of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology received $853,525 from Comcast from January 1, 2001 - December 31, 2012.
-Contributions from Comcast to House members serving in the 109th, 110th, 111th and 112th Congresses total $6,678,446 from January 1, 2001 - December 31, 2012.
-Representative Greg Walden, R-Ore., Chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology has received $53,000 from Comcast from January 1, 2001 - December 31, 2012.
-Representative John Dingell, D-Mich., has received $100,775 from Comcast from January 1, 2001 - December 31, 2012 more than any other member of the House of Representatives. He is a member of the Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.
Now, what everyone is really waiting for is to see if the Justice Department is going to get involved and scream "antitrust." However, please, please keep in mind that this subcommittee we're talking about was elected to represent the people of their districts and the nation as a whole. And Comcast is outbidding you. And tons of companies are outbidding you. It's difficult to see how corporate lobbying doesn't create a massive conflict of interests, with this serving as a prime example.