From: ShunkW <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, Jan 30, 2011 at 6:10 AM
Subject: What Corruption Looks Like: 87% Of Congressional Reps Supporting Comcast/NBC Merger Got Money From Comcast
To: ShunkW <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What Corruption Looks Like: 87% Of Congressional Reps Supporting Comcast/NBC Merger Got Money From Comcast
from the how-government-work-gets-done dept
Let me start out by pointing out that I'm on the record thinking that people are severely overreacting to the Comcast/NBC merger. I think that it's likely to be a bad business decision, but I see no reason why the government should block it. If anything, it seems like it'll just be a modern updating of the AOL/Time Warner catastrophe, as management won't really know what to do and will just make things worse off. That said, the companies have been fighting hard against opposition to the merger, and one way to fight is with money. So it comes as little surprise to find out that 84 of the 97 Congressional Reps, who signed a letter urging that the FCC approve the merger without conditions, received campaign contributions from Comcast.
Now, this is not to say that those 84 are corrupt. But, as Larry Lessig has pointed out, whether or not there is actual corruption here obscures the point that it certainly looks corrupt, and certainly decreases citizens' willingness to trust that their government is acting in the interests of the people they're supposed to represent.
If anything, this brings more support to the idea that if our elected officials are going to accept large donations from companies and then legislate in their interests, it would make sense to require those elected officials to wear patches indicating who's funding them, a la Nascar uniforms.
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