A Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission asked conservative advocates to provide input on an op-ed he wrote last year on net neutrality, according to internal agency documents released Tuesday.
"Would be interested in your thoughts on this draft. Keep it close as a work in progress," Commissioner Michael O'Rielly wrote in an email on April 23, 2014, to Robert McDowell, a former Republican FCC commissioner who now advises telecom companies as a lawyer at the firm Wiley Rein. "Your expertise would be most appreciated as soon as possible given the timing."
O'Rielly also received input from Harold Furchtgott-Roth, another former Republican FCC commissioner and now a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, and Berin Szoka, the president of libertarian group TechFreedom.
Szoka in particular offered an extensive overhaul of the op-ed. "Basic structure and argument is great. I know it looks like a lot of red ink but I really just tried to finesse, clarify, etc.," Szoka wrote.
The op-ed eventually ran in The Hill on May 6, with the headline "FCC's grab for new regulatory power could go beyond broadband providers."
The documents came to light Tuesday during a House Oversight Committee hearing on whether the White House inappropriately influenced the net-neutrality regulations issued by the FCC, an independent agency.