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FCC’s Martin Warned by Congressmen

Nov 14, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are warning Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin that he better meet with its staffers—pronto—if he wants input on a potentially damning report about his stewardship of the agency.
The committee’s long delayed report on transparency and policy issues at the commission is slated to come out at month’s end. Committee Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., and U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, Chairman of the committee’s Oversight and Investigations panel today sent a letter to Mr. Martin pleading him sit down with committee staff.
“The committee … is in the final stage of its investigation into Federal Communications Commission regulatory practices and management issues,” said the letter. “Since last week the committee staff has attempted to arrange an interview to provide you with an opportunity to comment personally on these matters. Thus far, however, your office has failed to arrange a meeting in response to our calls.
“The committee staff is available to meet with you any time next week. If you are unwilling to meet with our staff by next Friday, Nov. 21, the committee staff will proceed to finalize its report on the investigation.”
The committee has been examining allegations that Mr. Martin as chairman has limited policy decisions to a few aides, cutting other FCC officials out of discussions. He also has been accused of failing to keep other FCC commissioners informed on FCC staff reports, and of acted in ways that diminished government openness.
An FCC spokesman said Mr. Martin is reviewing the letter.
“We’ve received their letter offering interviews to the chairman and others and are reviewing it,” he said. “We continue to cooperate with the committee and already have provided thousands of documents to the committee at their request.”
(Edited at 5:43 p.m. ET to add last two paragraphs.)

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