Last night, NLPC Chairman Ken Boehm appeared on Fox Business Network to describe political favoritism by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that benefited Harbinger Capital, a hedge fund headed by billionaire Phil Falcone.
NLPC first accused the FCC of favoritism in a February 2 request for an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). We pointed to large donations to Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, made the day after Falcone visited the White House, that appeared to be related to the FCC’s fast track approval of Harbinger’s acquisition of a company called SkyTerra, which has been renamed LightSquared.
More significantly, the FCC also allowed LightSquared to exploit a loophole that allows it to deploy a national 4G wireless network to handle cell phone calls and data. LightSquared is getting valuable wireless spectrum on the cheap, while its competitors like AT&T and Verizon are spending billions to build out their networks.
Not included in our February 2 letter to Issa is the fact that Barack Obama invested $90,000 in the obscure, thinly-traded SkyTerra in 2005. He was put into the investment by a UBS broker at the behest of a major donor to Obama’s campaigns named George W. Haywood, who was also a major investor in SkyTerra.