A member of the Federal Communications Commission will be joining Comcast. The announcement on Wednesday surprised many in the telecommunications industry. Good government reformers say it’s one more reason to shut the revolving door.
Meredith Baker worked in the Commerce Department under President George W. Bush. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed her to the FCC. In January, she voted to approve the controversial merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. And, this week, Baker announced she would leave the FCC to lobby for Comcast.
Craig Aaron, president of Free Press, which opposed the merger between Comcast and NBC, called the move “outrageous.”
“I simply think it’s outrageous that one day you could be tasked with watch-dogging or regulating the biggest media companies in the country and the next day you’re lobbying for one of those companies, on whose giant mega-mergers you voted just four months ago to approve,” said Aaron.
There will be limitations on what Baker can do. She can never lobby the FCC on any issues related to the Comcast merger. Nor can she lobby any officials in the Obama Administration. She is also barred from lobbying the FCC directly on other issues for two years.
She is free, however, to lobby Congress. A spokeswoman for Comcast says Baker’s move is “simply a case of a dedicated and talented public servant moving on to the next stage of her career.”