Rep. Darrell Issa probes FCC Baker’s departure to Comcast
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa questioned Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker’s resignation from the agency in a letter dated May 18.
Baker, one of the two Republican Commissioners at the Federal Communications Commission, announced earlier this month that she was taking a position at the cable giant Comcast-NBC Universal just four months after voting to approve the the controversial merger of Comcast and NBC.
“Based on the public statements of both Commissioner Baker and the FCC, it does not appear that she violated any of her legal or ethical obligations in accepting a position with Comcast,” Issa wrote in the letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, according to POLITICO. “Nevertheless, because only a short time has passed since the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, it is imperative that the public can trust the integrity of the process.”
The group Free Press, which had called Baker’s departure from the FCC a “blatant example of a so-called public servant cashing in at a company she is supposed to be regulating,” praised Rep. Issa for his letter.
“We’re pleased to see that Chairman Issa has responded to the many Americans who are deeply troubled by the revolving door between Comcast and the FCC exemplified by Commissioner Baker’s jaw-droppingly fast transition from regulator to lobbyist,” Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron said in a statement.
“We hope this letter is just the start – and that Congress will launch a serious inquiry that goes beyond the five basic questions asked here.”
Baker was nominated by President Barack Obama as a member of the Federal Communications Commission on June 25, 2009, and sworn in on July 31, 2009. Baker was also the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration under President George W. Bush.
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