Who got the payoff for reclassifying cable data services as information services?

Sow for yourselves righteous policies; reap steadfast jobs.

In all the commentary about the recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia which struck down the 2010 Net Neutrality order by the Federal Communications Commission it's been mostly overlooked that ex-FCC Chairman Michael Powell is now the President and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the most powerful lobbying organization for the cable industry, while James M. Assey is the Executive Vice President of NCTA, and K. Dane Snowden is the Chief of Staff of NCTA.

You will probably remember that Powell was the Chairman of the FCC in 2002 when cable data services were reclassified as "information services" instead of "telecommunications services."  You might not know that Assey worked as Senior Democratic Counsel to the Committee, and earlier was Senior Democratic Counsel on Communications and Media Issues for the Committee chaired by U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) and Telecommunications Counsel for former U. S. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC), while last but not least, Snowden was Chief of the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) from 2001 - 2005.

Is this noteworthy? I think so because the striking down of Net Neutrality and the reclassification of cable service as information services hands the cable industry a potential gold mine.

As Michael Hiltzik writing in the L.A. Times put it: "the payoff wasn't long in coming."

Should there be (and could there be) some sort of constraint on what government officials can do once they leave office?

Communicate your outrage below or to gearhead@gibbs.com then follow me on TwitterApp.net, and Facebook.

Thanks to Jerry Dixon.

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