The Associated Press reports: "A top telecommunications regulator who voted to approve Comcast Corp.'s takeover of NBCUniversal in January is leaving to join the company as a lobbyist. Meredith Attwell Baker, one of two Republicans on the five-member Federal Communications Commission, will become senior vice president of government affairs for NBCUniversal."
More private-sector job-creation, Washington-style. As I've said before, I don't think people in government should be prevented from leaving for work in the private sector. But at a certain point this happens often enough and the public begins to have reasonable doubts that what all the regulatory activity is actually about is much more than creating private-sector jobs for former regulators.
To the extent people in Washington acknowledge at all that this is a problem, they tend to propose dealing with it by imposing bans — you can't lobby your former colleagues until some set period of time elapses. A better way to handle it might be to reduce the amount of regulation so that the skills necessary to navigate through the regulations become less valuable.
in a better world, this would be a hot political issue for a politician to seize on. But because it's such a bipartisan problem — both Republicans and Democrats cash out through the revolving door — it doesn't get much attention. It's a part of why government gets bigger, though, because for the politicians and regulators the incentives are there to make more complex rules and laws that they can then earn money helping companies to either comply with or get around.
Earlier FutureOfCapitalism coverage of the revolving door is, for starters, here, here, here, here, and here. The Center for Responsive Politics has a pretty decent, though less than entirely perfect, revolving door database.