Soon after former Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Kyle McSlarrow was named president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in January, the cable novice joked that the industry lobbying group had already taught him one important lesson: “Alaska is a fantastic state.”
The line was a sly reference to the power of Ted Stevens, the Republican from Alaska who runs the Commerce Committee—the Senate’s arbiter of cable and telecom issues.
Last week, McSlarrow experienced first-hand the splendor of Stevens’ home state. Departing from his own family’s vacation in North Carolina, McSlarrow jetted to Alaska to take Stevens fishing. Comcast Chairman Ralph Roberts and Bill Phillips, a lawyer and former Stevens aide, joined the outing.
The haul included 24 silver—a.k.a. coho—salmon and a hefty 140-pound halibut.
The NCTA wouldn’t discuss the schmooze trip. A Stevens spokesman also refused to rise to our bait: “I can tell you that my senator is a very good fisherman and the silvers are running right now.”