Monday, February 8, 2016

Comcast hired Democrats after dropping GOP lobbyists

Comcast has hired a couple of well-connected Democratic lobbyists after a pair of Republicans departed last year

Comcast hired Democrats after dropping GOP lobbyists

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Joe Trahern, former Washington lobbyist for General Motors and a former aide to ex-Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.Dak.), four other Democrats in Congress, and President Clinton, has joined Comcast Corp. as Senior Director of Federal Government Affairs, which means he'll lobby Congress.

Also, Rudy Brioche', former legal advisor to Federal Communications Commission member Jonathan S. Adelstein and an ex-aide to U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., joined Comcast Tuesday as Senior Director of External Affiars and Public Policy Counsel, which means he'll help draft legislation strategy. Statement (from Tuesday) here.

Comcast - under executive vice president David L. Cohen, who actively oversees the lobbying group - is following the national tilt toward the Ds, after the departure last year of Comcast Republicans Kerry Knott, senior vice president for government affairs, and Brian Kelly, senior director of federal government affairs.

It's back to the future for Comcast, which like other cable companies leaned Democratic in the old days when their natural adversaries the entrenched TV networks were more or less Republican, but bulked up on GOP staffers after 2000, when that made sense during the Bush adminstration. Though it's not clear that hiring Republicans helped Comcast any when Comcast critic Kenneth Martin chaired the FCC. Will Comcast's Democrats do better under Obama?

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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at http://www.philly.com/PhillyDeals and his Inquirer columns at http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists/joseph-distefano/. Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

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