Comcast Goes On Capitol Hill Spending Spree In Advance Of Merger Hearings

It may be a coincidence that Comcast’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable is occurring during the lead-up to a midterm election season where candidates from both parties need cash to hold on to their seats in the Congress and Senate, but that very need for funds is giving the Kabletown Krew a good opportunity to grease the wheels on Capitol Hill.

Politico reports that, through varied means, Comcast has to 32 of the 39 members of the House Judiciary Committee, which will likely have a hand in helping regulators determine whether or not the merger gets approved.

Additionally, 15 of the 18 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have received help from the Comcast coffers, including Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, Texas’s Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

Two House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee may not end up being directly involved in the merger approval process, but they do have some oversight over Comcast and the cable/Internet industry in general. Thus, reports Politico, members of those committees are awash in Comcash, with 50 of the 54 members of the House committee receiving money from the company, and 20 of 24 Senate members feeding from the Comcast trough.

Comcast says that critics are misinterpreting their donations.

“Comcast NBCUniversal operates in 39 states and has 130,000 employees across the country,” a company mouthpiece tells Politico. β€œIt is important for our customers, our employees and our shareholders that we participate in the political process. The majority of our PAC contributions are to the senators and members who represent our employees and customers.”

And just think about it — if the deal goes through, Comcast will control an even larger customer base, meaning that more Senators and Congresspersons will “represent” Comcast customers, and thus need to be paid in kind.