Wall Street Journal: FCC’s Baker Defends Decision to Be Comcast Lobbyist

Written by admin on May 14th, 2011

Only a cynic would believe that Baker’s new job was a reward for a her vote approving her new employer’s acquisition.

Wall Street Journal

Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker defended her decision to leave the agency for a lobbying job at Comcast Corp. Friday, saying she has complied with ethics laws.

Ms. Baker announced earlier this week that she’ll leave the FCC to work as a lobbyist for Comcast Corp. The move was sharply criticized by some government watchdog groups because in January, Ms. Baker was among four FCC commissioners who approved Comcast’s acquisition of control of NBC Universal from General Electric Co.

In a written statement, Ms. Baker said she had planned to seek re-nomination to the agency until late spring, but changed her mind after the Comcast/NBC job became available “in mid-April.”

“Not once in my entire tenure as a Commissioner had anyone at Comcast or NBCUniversal approached me about potential employment,” she said. “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.”

Since Ms. Baker signed the Obama administration’s ethics pledge, she would be barred from lobbying the agency and its officials throughout the rest of his administration. However, she could begin lobbying Congress immediately.


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