Specifically, Issa noted that a 2009 American Spectator article said a draft of the net neutrality rules had been circulated to Obama administration officials — and that Genachowski and President Barack Obama made suspiciously similar remarks about the rules on Sept. 21, 2009.
Issa — then the ranking member, now the chairman of the House Oversight Committee — asked, among other things, whether then-White House economic adviser Larry Summers had had any contact with the FCC about net neutrality.
When Issa received no response to his letter, he wrote again on Dec. 29, 2010. His letters – and a response from Genachowski – were released by the FCC on Thursday.
In his response, Genachowski said that the Communications Act of 1934 “does not prohibit communications between commissioners and commission staff and members of the administration.”
Further, he said that the FCC’s own regulations requiring disclosure of ex parte communications do not kick in until “the release of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.” The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on net neutrality was issued in October 2009, Genachowski said.
“Thus, for example, no disclosure requirements applied in September 2009,” Genachowski wrote. “Moreover, the Commission's Office of General Counsel is not aware of any potential violations of the ex parte rules in connection with the subject matter of your letter.”
The letters are available here.