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Sunlight: Congress' revolving door to telecom, cable firms

Broadband providers including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, AT&T and Verizon Communications have amassed armies of former government officials and spent $21 million in the first quarter of the year to lobby against net neutrality and other regulations at the Federal Communications Commission, according to a report by the Sunlight Foundation.

In a review released Monday, the nonprofit public interest organization said those firms hired 276 former government officials, including 18 former members of Congress, to fight against rules that would require them to treat all Web sites and content equally on their networks.

“We’ve heard promises to stop the spin of the revolving door between government and lobbying, but that’s clearly not happening,” said Paul Blumenthal, senior writer at the Sunlight Foundation.

Jim Davis, a former Democratic congressman from Florida, went to AT&T; Jack Fields, a former Republican congressman from Texas, went to Verizon; Ron Klink, a former Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania, went to Comcast; and Chip Pickering, a former Republican congressman from Mississippi, went to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the cable industry trade group.

Nine of 10 lobbyists hired by Time Warner Cable previously worked in government. About the same portion -- 88 percent -- of Comcast’s lobbying hires came from government jobs. And Comcast, which is in the middle of a merger review, hired 82 people from government, including six former officials from the Justice Department. Justice and the FCC are reviewing Comcast’s controversial proposed merger with NBC Universal.

Read Sunlight’s full report here.

By Cecilia Kang  |  June 21, 2010; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  AT&T , Broadband , Comcast , DOJ , FCC , Media , Net Neutrality , Verizon  
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Comments

Cecilia Kang, Google's reporter at the Post, does it again with an article incredibly biased toward Google and its agenda. The article fails to mention that Google spends more on lobbying in DC than any telecommunications company. Or that Google has given substantial sums of money to the Sunshine Foundation -- $66,000 last year. Or that at least one Google executive is an administrator at the foundation. No WONDER it does its best to highlight the telecomm companies' lobbying expenditures, but says not a word about Google's! And no wonder Cecilia parrots its statements uncritically.

Posted by: LBrettGlass | June 21, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

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