The three GOP House lawmakers who yesterday demanded that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cough up documents detailing its actions and relationship with wireless telecommunications company LightSquared have gotten ample campaign contributions from the embattled firm's corporate adversaries.
The ongoing saga surrounding LightSquared's efforts to launch a satellite-based 4G network demonstrates that when it comes to spectrum wars, there are monied interests on all sides pushing lawmakers, complicating President Barack Obama's campaign promise to expand the reach of broadband.
AT&T and Verizon figure prominently among the top donors to the three lawmakers who are demanding documents ...Continue reading
Today is the deadline for lawmakers to turn in their earmarks requests to Appropriation subcommittees. The Hill reports that, in a bid to hold off earmark reform, Appropriations subcommittee chairmen are self-policing by “limiting their colleagues to 10 project requests each.” … Two more lawmakers signed onto the plan to create an Office of Public Integrity, according to Roll Call. Reps. Greg Walden (R-OR) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) both want to see the independent oversight office created with Walden stating, “When it comes down to it, we simply don’t have the time or — frankly — the objectivity to provide the necessary oversight of our colleagues.” … The Alaska Daily News reports that the Alaska House passed legislation that would allow lawmakers “to solicit contributions from lobbyists for certain charity events, and make legal a longtime tradition”. … Gov. Ed Rendell (D-PA) “signed an executive order yesterday requiring lobbyists who seek to influence the executive branch to register and report expenses for the first time since the state's lobbying law was overturned in 2002,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. … The Arkansas News Bureau looks at how Arkansas companies lobby lawmakers in Washington with private jet travel. The article takes as an example the cozy relationship between Tyson Foods and House agriculture subcommittee chairman Henry Bonilla (R-TX).Continue reading
A new study on a Bush Administration policy that lets loggers move in and clear out trees in the wake of a forest fire demonstrates that the policy “has harmed forest recovery and increased fire risk,” according to the Washington Post. The study, “consistent with research findings from around the world,” was printed in Science magazine and has come under direct fire by the Administration – the Bureau of Land Management, which paid for the study, temporarily cut-off the final year of a $300,000 three-year grant to the scientists – and from Congressmen with industry-friendly legislation under consideration. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), a top recipient of logging industry money, called the scientists to testify on their criticism of his “bill pending in Congress that would ease procedures for post-fire logging in federal forests.”Continue reading