Monday, March 13, 2006

Comcastic Consultants

I’ve been thinking about trying to get a job with Comcast. Strictly as a consultant and definitely not as a Customer Service Representative. I looked online at their job openings but they don’t advertise “consultant” positions. Those plum assignments are found through other channels. Working against me in this endeavor is the fact that I’ve never been elected to public office, I’ve never been married to an elected official and my father was just a school bus driver not the Senate President of Maryland.

The timing might not be good though because some overzealous lawmakers in Annapolis are calling for an ethics investigation of Comcast’s ties to government. It’s not the first time they’ve gotten excited about this sort of thing; several years ago they called for an investigation of Comcast’s relationship with electeds. At that time the uproar was about how Comcast uses their regional Channel 8 to put politicians’ mugs on TV. Comcast would invite the politicos to come on and talk about their pet issues but some at the statehouse saw this as a little too cozy and rightly nailed the practice as Comcast ingratiating themselves. It’s not an unheard of practice, smart local PEG channels do this sort of thing all the time. But then again, most PEG channels don’t follow up these beauty pageants with a fat check for the war chest.

While a probe was called for I don’t remember it going anywhere. Maybe this time it will be different.

This time it’s not just giving air time to seated politicians and candidates, it’s actually hiring current and past elected officials as consultants. And when that isn’t feasible, Comcast hires their relatives.

In Maryland one of these hires just happens to be our dear Republican First Lady, Kendel Ehrlich. She managed to walk away with $55k for producing and starring in a 16 episode talk show on substance abuse. At over $3,400 an episode she’s practically making scale. The subject matter is tough to argue but as Democrats eagerly pointed out “they did not expect the first lady to get paid to lecture on social ills that she has made a foundation of her public advocacy.”

Of course the Dems shouldn’t get too excited because Comcast is strictly bi-partisan. A sitting Baltimore City Councilman, a former Prince George’s County Executive and a former Howard County Councilman, all Democrats, nicely fill out the roster of Comcast’s “consultancy” team.

This reminds me of how Democrat Ed Rendell left office as Mayor of Philadelphia and just about his entire top level staff immediately got gainful employment with Comcast. Geesh, no wonder there’s still no public access in Philadelphia.

Then again, Comcast does slip up from time to time. They hired Lorine Card, sister-in-law of Andrew Card and Victoria Clarke, former spokeswoman for Donald Rumsfield, to whisper sweet-nothings into the ears of the Bush Administration. A fat lot of good that did. They should have hired former House Majority Leader Dick Armey to represent their interests. Dick has done wonders for the Bells in various states through his FreedomWorks shell game. Of course it could be Dick’s call for ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from Palestine that has kept him off Comcast’s payroll. Even Comcast wouldn’t view that as prudent public posture on the most sensitive of issues.

So back in Maryland there is much hue and cry about probing for ethics violations or at the very least the appearance of violations. Given there’s only thirty days left in this session my money says nothing is going to happen. And while I have no desire to run for public office I just must try to talk my husband or my kids into getting elected to the state house. Bottom line, I am a consultant and a little bit of that Comcast juice would be good for business.

Stumble Upon Toolbar