Rep. Darrell Issa Wants Answers From FCC's Baker

May 23, 2011 -

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has decided that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, a key investigative body of Congress which he chairs, will investigate FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker's jump from the FCC to Comcast-NBC Universal.

In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on Friday, Issa said that Baker's departure has “generated questions” because of her recent vote to approve the Comcast and NBC merger.

Issa said that Baker's own statements about the process which led to the job offer leads him to believe that "it does not appear [Baker] violated any of her legal or ethical obligations in accepting a position with Comcast.”

Still, he thinks an investigation is still warranted “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."

Issa wants answers to five questions in order to “gain a better understanding of the rules that govern Commissioner Baker's departure."

Those questions are:

What regulations and FCC policies/procedures apply to Commissioner Baker's departure?

What actions did Commissioner Baker and the FCC take to ensure these rules were followed?

On what date did Commissioner Baker notify the FCC General Counsel's office that she was engaged in communications with Comcast about a possible job opportunity?

On what date did Commissioner Baker begin to recuse herself from matters and/or proceedings before the FCC?

For which matters/proceedings currently pending before the FCC has Commissioner Baker recused herself?

Issa wants those answers by May 31.

Free Press praised Issa's letter:

"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," said CEO Craig Aaron. "As Chairman Issa suggests, the American people deserve to know whether their public servants are truly serving them, or just auditioning for industry jobs. We hope Chairman Issa gives them the investigation they’ve demanded, and the one they deserve."

Source: Ars Technica


Comments

Re: Rep. Darrell Issa Wants Answers From FCC's Baker

I'm glad Congress is asking questions, but I hope it isn't a rubber-stamp process.  Issa's remarks seem to suggest that he thinks she hasn't done anything wrong and it's the outraged public that needs to be educated on how things work.

It's entirely possible that Atwell Baker has violated no ethics rules, but if indeed that's the case I think we seriously need to examine the ethics rules.

It's standard practice in the private sector to require employees to pledge they won't quit and immediately go to work for a competitor.  I believe similar rules should be required for government officials going to work for companies their rulings or legislation has affected.

Re: Rep. Darrell Issa Wants Answers From FCC's Baker

Perhaps that should be extended to areas that politicians have worked in or have invested money in, for instance oil.

 
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Andrew EisenSarkeesian and Quinn continue to get harassed and attacked (with the majority of said harassment and attacks being about their gender) and so, the story stays in the headlines. If Wolfe gets swatted again, it will be in the news again.09/19/2014 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenYou mean Wesley Wolfe? The swatting appeared to be over his DMCA takedown, not due to his color or gender.09/19/2014 - 6:53pm
ConsterSo Sleaker, what's the sand like?09/19/2014 - 6:53pm
quiknkold@CraigR. Spreading Misandry is not going to kill Misogyny. Its just going to fuel it. half the people supporting that arguement are mysoginists themselves. They just dont know it.09/19/2014 - 6:51pm
Sleaker@CraigR - there's nothing to get over. There's no issue here until someone does an actual study on harassment rates.09/19/2014 - 6:48pm
quiknkoldWe never said Gamers were the only victims. Yes, Anita and Zoe got a bad rap. Yes, Zoe's ex was way out of line. Do I disagree with them? Depends on the arguement. Did they deserve what happened to them? Hell Effing No.09/19/2014 - 6:48pm
Sleakerbut news outlets have a tendency to blow up and sensationalize it if the person can be desrcibed as a minority, maybe because it gets the hits. How long were the 2 recent swattings in the news for? 1 was a white male developer....09/19/2014 - 6:47pm
Craig R.Get over it.09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
Craig R.Gamers are just lucky that their behavior wasn't brought to attention of everybody else sooner, and gamers are pissy about that09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
SleakerIn fact, just because a few female developers every year get harassed doesn't make it systematic. As a whole developers are harassed by people.. Swatted, etc.09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
Craig R.And if you don't think misogyny and sexism is widespread, then you're living with your head buried in the sand09/19/2014 - 6:45pm
Craig R.Apparently it's the gamers who are the only victims from GamerGate09/19/2014 - 6:44pm
Sleaker@AE - 1 person getting harassed is a problem. But just because 1 person gets harassed for being a female developer doesn't mean it's a systematic problem or indicative of a whole demographic.09/19/2014 - 6:44pm
Andrew EisenI don't believe anyone said or even remotely implied that harassing anyone was okay.09/19/2014 - 6:41pm
quiknkoldGeneral are being harassed, doxxed, hacked, just because they are being perceived as white males. And what about the White Males who are victims. Its ok to harass them? Anita Sarkeesian gets a bomb threat yeah, but what about the others.09/19/2014 - 6:36pm
quiknkoldwhat about all the gamers who are being harrassed, Andrew. Why does it have to be just about the women in the industry. We have 2 women, and only a handful of accounts recorded. While you could throw a dart at the internet and find a site where Gamers in09/19/2014 - 6:35pm
Andrew EisenOkay, you're talking specifically about harassment of women in the industry. So... how many (or what percentage of) women have to be harassed before you'd consider it a problem?09/19/2014 - 6:27pm
SleakerSo I think at best, we can just say something akin to 'there might be a problem, but we need more reliable information'09/19/2014 - 6:11pm
SleakerBut that takes someone actually doing a legitimate study on females in game development workplaces etc. And so far a good number of studies that get shoved into the center of attention are sensationalized through shoddy metrics and practices.09/19/2014 - 6:10pm
Sleaker@AE - I think there are select instances of gender problems that are highlighted, but I don't believe they are the norm, or 'widespread.' What would be more helpful is to show hard statistics. 1 in 100 female developers is harassed or somthing like this.09/19/2014 - 6:10pm
 

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