updated 04:20 pm EDT, Tue May 27, 2014
Company ups lobbying firms to 40 in Washington, connections to public sector
Comcast has increased the number of lobbying firms employed in Washington DC to 40 since it started the merger process with Time Warner Cable. The Hill reports that it is one of the largest lobby teams ever in Washington, which has increased an already large group from 33 firms employed by the company.
Of the new firms brought on by Comcast, many have direct ties to Congressional members in key places of the government, bolstering the already large number of connections available for the company. Firms such as The Gibson Group, The Normandy Group, Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck, and Gray Global Advisors have ties to different committees and departments within the government. A number of firms have people connected to officials such as Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and Representative James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-WI). However, connections also extend to both Democratic and Republican parties.
Connections don't stop there for some of the hires, as lobby groups often bring aboard people that previously held government positions. For instance, aides from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Justice Department all have found their way into some of the companies that Comcast has brought aboard to lobby for the deal.
"You've got the attention of a lot of regulators and members of Congress specifically scrutinizing your company," said an anonymous lobbyist to The Hill. "Companies find it particularly meaningful to have a team that understands how those environments work."
The expansion doesn't come as much of a surprise for a company that spent the largest amount of money of any company in 2013 for lobbyists. Firms are being paid upwards of $100,000 per quarter by Comcast for their services.