Brooks Boliek, Politico
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is denying a charge that White House officials improperly influenced the commission’s net neutrality rules.
In a November 2009 letter to Genachowski, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said media reports suggest “that Obama administration officials had knowledge of and potentially contributed to [the] crafting of” the controversial net neutrality rules.
Specifically, Issa noted that a 2009 American Spectator article said a draft of the net neutrality rules had been circulated to Obama administration officials — and that Genachowski and President Barack Obama made suspiciously similar remarks about the rules on Sept. 21, 2009.
Issa — then the ranking member, now the chairman of the House Oversight Committee — asked, among other things, whether then-White House economic adviser Larry Summers had had any contact with the FCC about net neutrality.
When Issa received no response to his letter, he wrote again on Dec. 29, 2010. His letters – and a response from Genachowski – were released by the FCC on Thursday.
In his response, Genachowski said that the Communications Act of 1934 “does not prohibit communications between commissioners and commission staff and members of the administration.”