Telcos buying a new FCC chair?

Utilities are pouring money into a political race, just in case the loser goes to the FCC.

The NYT writes that telephone companies and other utilities are pouring money into the congressional campaign of Becky Armendariz Klein, a Texas Republican who is widely expected to lose.

Why all the money? If Bush wins re-election, apparently she's on the short list of candidates to replace Michael Powell as head of the FCC. Failing that, a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may be in the works.

Klein, who recently stepped down as chair of the Texas Public Utility Commission, dismisses this interpretation. "I don't think that's the reason at all," she told the Times. "The reason they've told me that they support me is that they appreciated that I had integrity."

I too firmly believe that all this corporate money aimed at becoming "Friends of Becky" (as the NYT puts it) is being spent in good faith. I am sure they are not trying to buy influence, or exert any unseemly pressure on the political system. That never happens, not in the lily-pure environs of Washington D.C or Texas.

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