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Former FCC Boss Michael Powell Now Top Cable Lobbyist
If The Revolving Door Spins Any Faster We'll Get Whiplash
by Karl Bode 11:04AM Tuesday Mar 15 2011
As the DC revolving door continues to spin, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association today announced via press release that Michael Powell, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2001 to 2005, will now be President & Chief Executive Officer of the NCTA. Powell is replacing cable's top lobbying Kyle McSlarrow, who himself last week took a new position at Comcast Corporation. Powell had already been working for the industry via a number of think tanks, and the broadband industry's Broadband For America lobbying group.

Powell's stint at the FCC you might recall involved a lot of over-stating the amount of competition in the sector in order to support incumbent-friendly policies -- which in large part contributed to the largely stale duopoly and monopoly markets we currently enjoy today. Powell was a particularly avid supporter of broadband over powerline technology (BPL), which Powell insisted was a "great broadband hope" that would cure the competitive logjam he himself ironically helped create. However, BPL floundered spectacularly due to interference issues and utility disinterest. As you might expect, the cable industry's version of Powell's tenure varies somewhat from what actually occurred:
quote:
During Powell’s tenure at the FCC, the Commission oversaw tremendous change and marketplace growth in the telecommunications sector. Powell worked to bring FCC regulations into the 21st Century and to recognize the move of voice, video, and data technologies away from limited analog platforms to powerful digital applications that bring more value to the public. He focused on initiatives to encourage market-driven solutions that promote consumer interests. He also supported new methods of deploying advanced services through technologies that would expand affordable broadband options to all Americans regardless of their geography.
Fortunately Powell will at least be paid better for pretending the broadband sector is truly competitive, with reports suggesting former NCTA boss McSlarrow made roughly 2 million dollars annually. When he's done at the NCTA, perhaps we can put Powell back in charge at the FCC where he can then do precisely what he told himself to? Or perhaps we can change the laws to allow him to be the NCTA boss and the FCC head at the same time?

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qworster

join:2001-11-25
Bryn Mawr, PA

It's payback!!

Powell is getting paid back for screwing the consumers (us!) and bending over for big cable and telco during his FCC tenure. This most always happens...

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: It's payback!!

said by qworster:

Powell is getting paid back for screwing the consumers (us!) and bending over for big cable and telco during his FCC tenure. This most always happens...

Getting paid back and bending over has negative connotations. If anything, he's being rewarded for bending over the consumer during his tenure, not cable bending him over.

funchords
Hello
Premium,MVM
join:2001-03-11
Yarmouth Port, MA
kudos:6
said by qworster:

Powell is getting paid back for screwing the consumers (us!) and bending over for big cable and telco during his FCC tenure. This most always happens...

Unfortunately, you usually don't get paid for what you've done. You get paid for what you will do. Powell not only knows the drill, but he knows the nuances. Further, whenever he speaks, he also speaks as a former FCC Chairman: instant credibility with whatever mouth-breathing too-unsavvy-to-know-better Republocrat he happens to be lobbying.

I have to say that this news sickened me a little bit. This really hurts consumers.
--
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FreedomBuild
Well done is better than well said
Premium
join:2004-10-08
Rockford, IL

Re: It's payback!!

said by funchords:



I have to say that this news sickened me a little bit. This really hurts consumers.

I have to agree, but then this is politics and the newer American way. This in itself is sickening.
--
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gorehound

join:2009-06-19
Portland, ME
but of course.another asshole scumbag politician who deserves hell.

trainwreck6

join:2010-09-21
off track

Re: It's payback!!

Along with all the Teabaggers and their ilk.

OldschoolDSL
Premium
join:2006-02-23
Indian Orchard, MA

Government for rent

Helpful if willing to under-mind the general public, be punctual for private meetings, willingness to keep secrets, and a willingness to lie to the general public.

Requirements are simple... Must present open ended, blank check or larger then life pile of cash. Cash preferred, but will accept open ended blank check.

Only the rich need apply.
--
HP Pavilion a6750f (tweaked)
Windows 7 Ultimate 64 * Mac OS Snow Leopard
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flycuban

join:2005-04-25
Homestead, FL

......

Wow - speechless, with a shaking of the head...

jslik
That just happened
Premium
join:2006-03-17

Headlines

Former FCC Boss Michael Powell Now Top Cable Lobbyist

And...

Day is light, night is dark, experts say

Death usually a permanent condition, top doctors report

Top OB/GYN says "Little bit pregnant not possible"

--
If they told you wolverines make good house pets, would you believe them?
viperlmw
Premium
join:2005-01-25

...

When he's done at the NCTA, perhaps we can put Powell back in charge at the FCC where he can then do precisely what he told himself to? Or perhaps we can change the laws to allow him to be the NCTA boss and the FCC head at the same time?

That's a nice piece of snark! Very fitting!

MerinX
Crunching for Cures
Premium
join:2011-02-03
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Shaw

Data of powerlines really?

The whole data over powerlines thing was a enron scam for a quick stock boost that never really went anywhere, clearly he should have been championing fibre for how much was wasted on broadband over powerlines which was silly considering the amount of current already being run on the lines.

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

For Sale

The American Consumer, preferably the middle class.

Welcome to the United States of Corporate America
--
"Linux is only free if your time has no value" - Jamie Zawinski

io chico
Premium
join:2003-12-30
Chico, CA

No Honor

Shame on him! Where has honor gone in American Corporations.

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

Re: No Honor

stockholders don't give a shit about honor. they want returns on their investments.
you want honor, go join the Marines.
--
"Linux is only free if your time has no value" - Jamie Zawinski

io chico
Premium
join:2003-12-30
Chico, CA

Re: No Honor

Sadly, you are correct.
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: No Honor

said by io chico:

Sadly, you are correct.

why is that "sadly" correct?

Do you have a retirement program? Do you have any investments yourself?

Why is it sad that a stock holder wants a return on their investment? ... you do realize that with out the stock holders, there is no internet, right? ...there is no cable TV service, right? ...there is no ______, right? Like it or not, this isn't Startrek.. the world needs money to go around - we just don't show up in some uniform that magically appears out of thin air and all come together on some ship that no one can still explain how it was built in the first place. It takes people willing to put their money into the system and for doing so they do expect money back - THAT is how it works.. it's not "sad"..

.. what IS sad are the people that aren't educated enough to understand this little fact.

What IS sad, however, is the amount of money that is being horded by a few. But, to sit here and blame the stock holders is complete lunacy. Pick your battles, but aim your guns and the right people..., which you aren't doing.

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

Re: No Honor

ever heard of a privately held company? i worked for one at one time. it was and still is the top business telecommunications systems manufacturer in the world. Cisco may own the data closet but the privately held company called Avaya owns the phone rooms. you don't need stocks or stockholders to have a profitable company. it's corporate greed that makes that happen.
--
"Linux is only free if your time has no value" - Jamie Zawinski
beaups

join:2003-08-11
Hilliard, OH

Re: No Honor

Try again, private companies have stockholders and/or investors and/or founders, all with financial interests in the performance of said company. It's really not all that different than public companies, outside of disclosure, regulations, etc. In fact, private companies can even be worse (if you consider greed bad), due to lack of required disclosures.

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

Re: No Honor

yes, i know that. saw that first hand when i worked for Avaya during the transition from a publicly traded company to a privately held company. Silver Lake specifically said they were buying and taking Avaya private so they could do what they wanted with the company.
with a publicly held company, the company has to satisfy thousands of shareholders so they will keep and continue buying the stock.
it just seems with a company who's symbol scrolls across the bottom of CNBC's television channel, they don't really give a damn (at least in the telecommunications world) about customers subscribers. I believe the word customer has been redefined in big business as the shareholder.
--
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elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
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Somewhere in
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Reviews:
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1 recommendation

Re: No Honor

I have to agree, with a publicly traded company there is that constant pressure to perform for "wall street".

It's maddening.. I recall Apple having one of their best quarters ever, yet the stock got punished, because it didn't meet Wall streets expectations.
--
Jake: "Four fried chickens, and a coke" Elwood: "And some dry white toast, please"

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

1 recommendation

Don't be naive. How many Americans are going to get a retirement these days?

I put money aside like crazy, but the way the US dollar sinks, medical costs soar and prices increase I'm under no illusion of any "cushy retirement."

Be damn lucky not to go bankrupt on medical bills in your (older) age before losing everything and dying. There's the new American dream, eh?

Disgusting.

There's a world of pain coming. I just don't know when this country implodes.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

Harddrive
Proud American and Infidel since 1968.
Premium
join:2000-09-20
DFW
kudos:2

Re: No Honor

damn right.
WernerSchutz

join:2009-08-04
Sugar Land, TX
said by Harddrive:

stockholders don't give a shit about honor. they want returns on their investments.
you want honor, go join the Marines.

Maybe one day the Marines will take out the corporate scumbags, the real threat to the US.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

No revolving door in this case

If Powell had left the FCC and then 6 weeks or 6 months later started lobbying the FCC then I'd agree it was a revolving door. But it has been 6 yrs and he will be mostly lobbying Congress and it is no longer a revolving door situation.
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sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

1 edit

Re: No revolving door in this case

said by FFH:

If Powell had left the FCC and then 6 weeks or 6 months later started lobbying the FCC then I'd agree it was a revolving door. But it has been 6 yrs and he will be mostly lobbying Congress and it is no longer a revolving door situation.

Do you really think anyone believes you?
WernerSchutz

join:2009-08-04
Sugar Land, TX

Re: No revolving door in this case

said by sonicmerlin:

said by FFH:

If Powell had left the FCC and then 6 weeks or 6 months later started lobbying the FCC then I'd agree it was a revolving door. But it has been 6 yrs and he will be mostly lobbying Congress and it is no longer a revolving door situation.

Do you really think anyone believes you?

A lie repeated enough becomes the truth for the uninformed mind listening.

If Powell would be an isolated case, MAYBE he could say something along these lines with a small amount of credibility/doubt. But this is the norm, so...

Noah Vail
Son made my Avatar
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Lorton, VA
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Reviews:
·Bright House

1 recommendation

said by FFH:

If Powell had left the FCC and then 6 weeks or 6 months later started lobbying the FCC then I'd agree it was a revolving door. But it has been 6 yrs.

I'll give you partial credit.

The headline led me to believe we were talking about a very short time.
As much as I really liked the RevDoor+Whiplash metaphor; it isn't a very good fit here.

Instead of a rapid intensification of Cabinet-Level corruption; it's more of the usual taint - that we've come to expect with every administration.

NV
--
Any Goal that is Driven by Animosity, is Empowered through Deceit.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: No revolving door in this case

I believe there's some sort on requirement in his contract on minimum time after leaving Government regulatory role before he can offer his services as lobbyists for said industries. 6 years sounds about right.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: No revolving door in this case

said by KrK:

I believe there's some sort on requirement in his contract on minimum time after leaving Government regulatory role before he can offer his services as lobbyists for said industries. 6 years sounds about right.

It is only a 1 yr prohibition on lobbying after leaving office:
»uspolitics.about.com/b/2007/10/1···t-it.htm
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elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
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Somewhere in
kudos:2
Reviews:
·VMedia

Re: No revolving door in this case

said by FFH:

said by KrK:

I believe there's some sort on requirement in his contract on minimum time after leaving Government regulatory role before he can offer his services as lobbyists for said industries. 6 years sounds about right.

It is only a 1 yr prohibition on lobbying after leaving office:
»uspolitics.about.com/b/2007/10/1···t-it.htm

We have 2yrs up in Canada, but even then the level of ex polticos lobbying the government isn't even remotely close to what you Americans see.
--
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KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
Wow. Government admits it's crooked.

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
Current FCC commissioners congratulate Powell on his new job lobbying the FCC.
Copps: »hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/a···10A1.pdf

McDowell: »hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/a···05A1.pdf

Baker: »hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/a···92A1.pdf
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Paxio
Premium
join:2011-02-23
Santa Clara, CA
kudos:1

Inevitible

When you set up a government agency to "regulate" a free market, this is what you get. The largest competitors in the market have the highest motivation to "capture" the agency and turn it into an anti-competitive weapon. This is just a small sample of how the world really works.
WernerSchutz

join:2009-08-04
Sugar Land, TX

Re: Inevitible

said by Paxio:

When you set up a government agency to "regulate" a free market, this is what you get. The largest competitors in the market have the highest motivation to "capture" the agency and turn it into an anti-competitive weapon. This is just a small sample of how the world really works.

That is why you have corruption investigations and jail time for those entrusted to regulate the industries not doing their job. Oh wait, this is the US where legalized bribery is encouraged (campaign "contributions") so never mind. Good work, Powell.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Analogue to Genachowski

This is exactly why chairmen like Genachowski are so utterly useless. Lobbyists from companies like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are paid millions to make sure the FCC's leader understands his financial security and career depends largely on his performance evaluation by the incumbents.

This is why AT&T can implement caps without fear of reprisal. They know their lobbyists have Genachowski under their thumbs. The lobbyists tell the CEOs the FCC chairman's under control, and the CEOs signal the go-ahead to caps and overages.

It's ridiculous how corrupt this process is.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

OH he made it official. So, same as it was, right?

So now it's official, and he actually gets PAID to continue doing the same thing he was doing before as FCC boss.
mogooder

join:2002-11-26
Washougal, WA

powell

itsjustphkndiscustin

XBL2009
------

join:2001-01-03
Chicago, IL

Maybe time to leave America?

Maybe time to leave America?

It seems like things are only going to get worse over the next 20-30 years.