I have written on several occasions how key employees, including heads of federal agencies, seem to wind up working for the very companies they regulated while employed. While this has been common in the automobile and drug industries, it appears this sort of thing also happens in the communications industry. Recently, Meredith Attwell Baker, a Federal Communications official, voted to approve a mega-merger between Comcast and NBC. You will never guess where Ms. Baker works now. Would you be surprised and maybe even shocked to learn that she now works as a lobbyist for none other than Comcast?
The “revolving door phenomenon,” in which public officials go to work for Corporate America, exploits obvious connections and information they gained as public servants, and then pushes the corporate agenda in Congress and in the White House. An interesting aspect of the Comcast-NBC merger is that Ms. Baker was saying in speeches in March that the deal “took too long.” It’s not surprising that folks all over the country are frustrated and feel betrayed when they read about this sort of thing. But it’s just another example of how giant corporations are favored and taken care of over ordinary citizens in our Nation’s Capitol.
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