After months spent trying to make a technological case for why its network will not interfere with GPS, LightSquared has gone political.
My colleague Josh Smith reports on a company that has been a boon to K Street:
LightSquared has hired dozens of top lobbyists, including at least seven former elected officials -- including ex-House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri; former Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas; and Democratic former Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.Most recently, LightSquared has taken aim at Bradford Parkinson, known as one of the founders of GPS and a member of the National Space-Based Positioning Navigation & Timing Advisory Board, which advises the government on GPS issues. Parkinson is also an investor and a member of the board of Trimble, a GPS manufacturer that has led the fight against LightSquared's plans. That, LightSquared officials contend, is a conflict of interest. ...On Wednesday, LightSquared released publicly available information that it had compiled showing top Trimble executives dumping millions of dollars in company shares the month after LightSquared received conditional FCC approval for parts of its plan in January. ...This new pushback may signal LightSquared's recognition that maybe it shouldn't be political, but it is.