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Comcast Pays Politicians to Pressure FCC on NBC-Universal Merger Then Hires FCC Commissioner

Comcast Pays Politicians to Pressure FCC on NBC-Universal Merger Then Hires FCC Commissioner

In January 2011 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 4-1 to approve the merger of Comcast and NBC-Universal. This “created one of the largest media conglomerates in American history, which critics warn could limit the variety of voices heard by the public and threaten the Internet’s role as a forum for free exchange of information.” Their OK came after FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski received this letter urging approval signed by 97 members of Congress:


Of those 97 Democratic and Republican politicians, 88 “had received money from Comcast’s political action committee, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.”

“Putting pressure on an appointed group of commissioners like the FCC isn’t actually that different from pressuring Congress. ‘As a matter of fact, it can be harder for the public to trace,’ [Craig Holman of Public Citizen] said. ‘It’s quite difficult to analyze much of the lobbying activity for instance when it comes to working with FCC commissioners or others like that doesn’t get reported, it very frequently is not disclosed as lobbying activity.’

Comcast spent more than $75 million on federal lobbyists alone in the last ten years, with much of that sum coming in recent years… Last year alone, during which much of the merger process took place, the company employed 109 federal lobbyists and lobbied both houses of Congress and the FCC. The money a company spends on lobbying is important, Holman said, but even more important is the amount of money they can stuff into political campaigns. ‘Besides direct campaign contributions, which are traceable from PACs, they will do bundling activity, which is very difficult to trace, and in many cases untraceable,’ Holman said. ‘They will also now with Citizens United do direct corporate expenditures through third party groups, which are entirely untraceable, but their lobbyists will be on the Hill letting the lawmakers know what they’re doing with their money.’

While waiting on FCC approval of the merger in the 2010 election cycle, Comcast upped the amount of money they were directly donating through their political action committee, spending $3.5 million on political campaigns… ‘There can also be the direct campaign contributor factor to any lawmakers, they can pull the strings of members of Congress and get members of Congress to apply pressure on FCC commissioners to vote a certain way on various issues, and they do,’ Holman said. ‘The agency regulations are every bit as important as lawmaking, every lobbyist worth his or her salt knows that.'”


Shortly after voting to approve the Comcast/NBC-Universal merger, FCC Commisioner Meredith Attwell Baker resigned her government post and went through the revolving door to become a high-paid lobbyist for Comcast:


Comcast and ALEC:


Comcast owns Maryland:


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http://ironboltbruce.blog.com/files/2011/11/Verizon_Political_Contributions_2010.pdf (524KB PDF)
Federal and state, political action committee (PAC) and corporate contributions

http://ironboltbruce.blog.com/files/2011/11/Verizon_Political_Contributions_2009.pdf (541KB PDF)
Federal and state, political action committee (PAC) and corporate contributions

Our thanks to the patriot who contributed this information. 🙂



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