TAKE ACTION NOW: 70 Groups Oppose FCC Nominee, Former Industry Lobbyist Tom Wheeler

70 Groups to Senate: Oppose Wheeler Unless Committed to Decency Enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 9, 2013) – Seventy organizations, led by Morality in Media, signed a letter to U. S. Senators asking them to oppose President Obama’s nominee to chair the FCC unless he commits to enforcing decency laws. The letter was hand-delivered to Senate offices on July 9.

Tom Wheeler was nominated to chair the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and is up for confirmation by the Senate. He was given the opportunity to state his position on decency enforcement during his nomination hearing but instead sidestepped the issue. The FCC is the guardian of decency on broadcast TV and radio and it is time for them to enforce the law.

“One of the most important duties the FCC Chair has is to enforce decency standards on network TV and radio. If Wheeler shirks his responsibility, no one else will enforce the law,” said Patrick A. Trueman, President of Morality in Media. “It is up to the Senate to make sure that the next leader of the FCC enforce the laws passed by Congress and supported by the American people.”

During the four years of the previous FCC chairman, Julius Genachowski, not one decency enforcement action was started against any TV show, despite more than a million citizen complaints.



Obama to Nominate Former Industry Lobbyist as FCC Chairman

Tom Wheeler was a lobbyist for the wireless and cable industries and fundraiser for the president’s campaign

May 1, 2013 Politix by Lisa Fine

President Barack Obama will nominate Tom Wheeler, a venture capitalist and former lobbyist for the wireless and cable industries, as the next head of the Federal Communications Commission, news reports say.

Wheeler, 67, has been a fundraiser for Obama’s presidential campaigns. Obama was expected to make the announcement of Wheeler’s nomination on Wednesday.

“Tom Wheeler is an experienced leader in the communications technology field who shares the president’s commitment to protecting consumers, promoting innovation, enhancing competition and encouraging investment,” a White House official told Politico.

But some groups expressed concern that Wheeler had been a lobbyist for the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and CTIA, a wireless industry trade group. The FCC chairman is the nation’s top telecom industry regulator.

“I am skeptical that the former chief lobbyist of the wireless and cable industries will be capable of holding his former clients accountable for their ongoing shortcomings,” Sascha Meinrath, director of the New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, told Politico.

After his stint as a lobbyist, Wheeler founded multiple cable, wireless and video communications services companies. Since, 2005, he has worked as a managing director of Core Capital Partners, Politico reports

If confirmed, Wheeler would replace Julius Genachowski, who took over as FCC chairman in 2009.