Monday, October 22, 2012

Obama's MacArthur Foundation-Sidley Austin-Commission on Presidential Debates-Minow Family Connection

Martha Minow is Dean and Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor of Law at Harvard Law School,… Ms. Minow is Vice-Chair of the board of the Legal Services Corporation, a… government-sponsored organization...She previously chaired the board of directors for the Revson Foundation and served on the boards of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the W.T. Grant Foundation, and the American Bar Foundation. She currently serves on the Covenant Foundation and Facing History and Ourselves….Ms. Minow is a member of the Audit Committee and the Institutional Policy Committee of the Foundation.

--from the MacArthur Foundation website

Sidley’s Government Strategies group works at the crossroads of law and policy, helping clients develop and implement strategies which protect and further their business interests….Sidley represents an array of clients on matters relating to public policy, including regulatory, legislative and oversight/investigations matters involving the U.S. Congress, federal agencies and other institutions that shape law and policy…. Our government strategies team works…with Sidley’s related practices to leverage the firm’s synergies and resources to further our clients’ interests in sectors ranging from the life sciences, to energy, the environment, communications, technology, financial services and international trade….Led by former U.S. Congressman Rick Boucher, with strong assistance from partner Daron Watts…our practice includes lawyers and professionals who work with key legislators and executive branch officials who have a direct influence on policies of interest to our clients. A number of our team members have held senior positions in government…For any particular client need, Sidley utilizes a…team of lawyers…that includes several of our former government officials:

“A 14 term U.S. Congressman (who served for more than 25 years on the U.S. House of Representatives Committees on Energy & Commerce and the Judiciary); a former long time Health Policy Director for a senior Senate Finance and HELP Committee member;  a former Senior Counsel to the House Financial Services Committee; the Acting General Counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); the Acting Chief Counsel of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA);the Acting U.S. Attorney General; four Associate White House counsels; the General Counsel of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the deputy Associate Administrator for Congressional Relations of the EPA; the General Counsel of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB); and the Legislative Counsel and Parliamentarian to the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

“Whether a client’s need requires knowledge of…telecommunications,…financial services, or trade policy—or knowledge of the individuals who will mold a particular Congressional or agency actionSidley possesses full service capabilities to assist.”

--from the Sidley Austin Corporate Law Firm website

Newton Norman Minow (born January 17, 1926) is an American attorney and former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. .. He is Senior Counsel in the Chicago headquartered law firm of Sidley Austin LLP (formerly Sidley and Austin prior to a merger with Brown & Wood), a large international law firm with multiple areas of expertise, including telecommunications related law….Minow has sat on the Board of Directors at Foote, Cone & Belding Communications Inc.; Tribune Co.; Manpower, Inc.; AON Corp.; CBS, and Sara Lee Corporation. He has been Chairman of the Board at RAND Corporation. ..He is a life trustee of Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame. He…is a vice-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates…”
--from Wikipedia website 

Obama’s MacArthur Foundation-Sidley Austin-Commission on Presidential Debates--Minow Family Connection

Most people in the United States don’t think it’s democratic for the alternative third party candidates who aren’t either Democrats or Republican presidential candidates to be excluded from the Commission on Presidential Debates’ televised presidential candidate debates in 2012.

And most people in the United States don’t think it’s ethical or democratic for the Chicago-based Sidley Austin corporate law firm to attempt to gain special consideration for its corporate clients from U.S. government regulatory agencies and Congress by apparently hiring former U.S. government officials as law firm partners to represent the special interests of Sidley Austin’s corporate clients before U.S. government agencies and Congress.

Yet the tax-exempt, multi-billion dollar MacArthur Foundation has apparently not been eager to provide much grant money to many anti-war grassroots critics of either the undemocratic way the Commission on Presidential Debates’ rigs the U.S. presidential election process or the unethical way that the Sidley Austin corporate law firm apparently hires former U.S. government officials to represent the special corporate interests of its clients before U.S. government agencies and the U.S. Congress.

One reason might be because 2012 Democratic Presidential Candidate Obama, himself, apparently used to work for the Sidley Austin corporate law firm of MacArthur Foundation board member Martha Minow's father: former FCC Chairman and Commission on Presidential Debates Vice-chairman Newton Minow.

As Newsweek columnist Jonathan Alter recalled in his 2010 book The Promise: President Obama, Year One:
“…One of his professors, Martha Minow, now the [Harvard] Law school dean…recommended him [Obama] for a job as a summer associate to her father, Newton Minow, a senior partner at the Chicago firm of Sidley Austin. That’s where Barack met Michelle [Robinson Obama], who was his supervisor at the firm…”

  The same book also noted that Obama’s Harvard Law School “classmate Julius Genachowski, [is] now the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission…” So it’s also not too likely that the FCC is going to criticize former FCC Chairman Minow’s Commission on Presidential Debates for violating any FCC “fairness” doctrine by excluding third party candidates like Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, for example, from its 2012 televised presidential debates on the public television airwaves.

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