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Dingell Tries To Schedule Meeting With Martin About FCC Investigation

The chairman of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee says he has been unable to schedule meetings with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and top lieutenants past and present as its Oversight and Investigations subcommittee prepares to issue the findings into its investigation of FCC processes.
In a letter to Martin and four others, John Dingell (D-MI). said that "since last week, the committee has attempted to arrange an interview to provide you with an opportunity to comment personally on these matters. Thus far, however, your office has failed to arrange a meeting in response to our calls."

The investigations subcommittee, headed by Bart Stupak (D- MI), launched the formal investigations last January after complaints externally and internally about how items were brought to a vote, information that was leaking to some lobbyists and not to others and complaints about Martin's resolve to vote on modifying the ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership -- which passed Dec. 18 -- despite attempts to stop or delay the vote by members of FCC oversight committees in both Houses.

Sources told B&C several weeks ago that the review had been wrapped and that there would be no hearing, but likely a report released.

Dingell said Friday that the committee was trying to make sure Martin and company had a chance to talk about the report before it is realeased, though he did not say when the report would be put out.

Letters were also sent to Daniel Gonzalez, FCC chief of staff; Kent Nilsson, inspector general; Derek Poarch, chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Secutiry Bureau and Catherine Bohegan, now a VP, federal affairs, at Cablevision Systems and formerly a top aide to the chairman.

"We have received the letter offering the interview to the chairman and others and we are reviewing it," said a spokesman for the chairman who would not comment further beyond saying: "We continue to cooperate with the committee and have already provided thousands of documents at their request. "