The Daily Caller may have done it again with its two-part series on Robert McChesney (pictured) and Free Press apparently failing to be transparent with its lobbying efforts with the FCC over Net Neutrality. This should be a very big deal.
From Part 1:
Under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, direct lobbying is defined as “any oral or written communication (including an electronic communication) to a covered executive branch official or a covered legislative branch official” made with regards to “the formulation, modification, or adoption of a Federal rule, regulation, Executive order, or any other program, policy, or position of the United States Government.”Making this even more of an outrage is that while Free Press is apparently NOT being transparent with its lobbying efforts, it is also chastising its opponents of not being transparent with theirs. For example, part 1 starts out by quoting Josh Silver, Free Press Director, accusing opponents of Net Neutrality - internet providers - of not being transparent.
Free Press’s LDA filings mention only one instance of direct lobbying of the FCC: Free Press’s Joseph Torres, who met with FCC staffers during the 4th quarter of 2009.
But according to ex parte data (documentation of an argument or policy proposal made to the FCC absent another party, i.e., in private) obtained by The Daily Caller, as well as data from the FCC’s visitor logs, multiple employees of the Free Press Action Fund have lobbied FCC staffers on net neutrality regulations more than two dozen times since January 2009:
On February 18, 2010, Free Press policy advisor Chris Riley and Free Press legal advisor Aparna Sridhar met with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s Legal Advisor, David Goldman, to discuss net neutrality.
On February 3, 2010, Chris Riley of Free Press participated in two meetings with FCC staff.
On January 29, 2010, Ben Scott of Free Press met with Blair Levin of the FCC’s National Broadband Task Force.
On January 22, 2010, Ben Scott of Free Press met with Genachowski and four of the Chairman’s advisors.
On January 12, 2010, Chris Riley met with Paul de Sa, Chief of the Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.
“It is deeply disturbing that the FCC’s Chief of Staff is not only meeting exclusively with industry representatives on the future of the Internet but when faced with criticism,” Silver said, “he is also making weak excuses for the agency’s behavior alongside vague promises to include others somewhere down the road.”Go figure. The head of Free Press is a marxist (Robert McChesney) and his organization appears to be blaming its opponents of what Free Press is guilty of doing - straight out of the marxist handbook indeed.
Actually, the FCC held a number of “secret meetings” with net neutrality proponents. In fact, the “others” were — and most likely still are — members of Free Press’s lobbying arm.
Be sure to read Part 2 in the series because the Caller reveals some glaring discrepancies between what Free Press reported under the Lobbying Disclosure Act and what it filed with the IRS.