Friends In High-Tech Places
Posted on Mar 4, 2009
The FCC has incredible power over the health of our democracy, from how we get our information to the technology we use to freely express ourselves—and the billions of dollars made in between—yet we tend to know little about the people who wield that power. The latest technocrat nominated to take charge of the commission is Julius Genachowski, an old school chum of the president.
Cronyism is distasteful, but Genachowski actually has a high-tech, legal and policy resume that should help him through the confirmation process.
Former chief legal counsel to FCC Chairman Reed Hundt and an executive at Barry Dillar’s IAC/InterActive Corp, Genachowski is widely lauded as the first FCC nominee who is both a Washington telecom policy insider and business executive.
But one of Genachowski’s greatest assets may be his close ties to Obama. Friends through undergraduate studies at Columbia University and later at Harvard Law School, Obama brought Genachowski into his campaign at the beginning. He wrote Obama’s technology and innovation plan for the campaign. And he was widely hailed as the “godfather” of the president’s groundbreaking campaign tactics that utilized online social networks and YouTube to raise money and spread Obama’s message.