CLC Seeks FCC, Hill Investigation of Leaks

Campaign Legal Center Urges Action Following Government Accountability Office Study

The Campaign Legal Center called on the Federal Communications Commission and Congress to investigate leaks at the FCC after a Government Accountability Office study concluded that some lobbyists were getting an early read on upcoming open-meeting agenda items.

In a letter to FCC chairman Kevin Martin Wednesday, Meredith McGehee, director of public policy for CLC, pointed to the GAO finding that FCC staffers had reached out to some lobbyists with information, saying, "Not only is this against the FCC’s own rules, but it also places a select group of insiders at a substantially unfair advantage over the public at large," and it could undermine public confidence in agency decisions.

"As chairman of the commission," McGehee wrote, "you have a responsibility to investigate these incidents and to publicly explain to the Congress and the American people what steps the FCC will take to ensure that its staff does not allow certain interests to have an unfair advantage when it comes to nonpublic information."

The FCC took no official position on the report, but FCC spokesman David Fiske said when the report was issued that the commission "actively reaches out and works with consumers and public-interest groups, not only industry. We have always been very open and transparent about what is on circulation, and we are exploring ways in which we can make our processes even more open and transparent."