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FCC Explains Rules For Baker's Departure To Lobbying Job FCC Explains Rules For Baker's Departure To Lobbying Job FCC Explains Rules For Baker's Departure To Lobbying Job FCC Explains Rules For Ba...

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Congress

FCC Explains Rules For Baker's Departure To Lobbying Job

June 2, 2011

Outgoing Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker worked with the agency's general counsel to make sure she followed ethics rules while negotiating for a new job with Comcast/NBCUniversal, according to a letter from FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Genachowski explained the process in a written response to questions from House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who sought more information about Baker's controversial decision to leave for a lobbying job.

"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 a letter on May 18th. "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."

Genachowski's letter included responses from the agency's general counsel, and largely mirrored statements previously made by Baker and the general counsel, but the letter revealed some details, including exact dates.

On April 13, Baker asked the FCC's general counsel what procedures to follow in discussing potential employment, the letter states. And on April 18, Baker recused herself from "matters that would have a direct and predictable effect on either NBCUniversal or Comcast."

Baker will be prohibited from lobbying the FCC for two years, as well as from lobbying many other political appointees for as long as President Obama is in office.

Baker has said she plans to leave the FCC Friday.

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