By Sara Jerome - 06/03/11 06:18 PM EDT
For instance, a Free Press aide offers to help draft an editorial by Copps to place in a newspaper. The email shows that Copps's office declined the help with drafting but accepted the help with placing the article.
Blackburn said the emails reveal "collusion" and called for further scrutiny of Free Press by the House. "I am deeply disturbed by the revelations of collusion between the FCC and Free Press on the net-neutrality issue. The FCC has moved against the will of the people, the wisdom of Congress and the order of the courts, to nationalize our most productive marketplace," Blackburn said.
Copps's office declined to comment on the situation. Free Press strongly denied any breach of the rules and defended its close contact with Copps's office.
“As you can see from even a cursory glance at these emails, there is nothing unusual or controversial in what Judicial Watch 'uncovered.' They found us — shockingly — filing ex partes about meetings we had, recommending our allies to testify at public hearings, urging the public to attend those hearings and sending a daily headline service to anyone who signs up," Free Press President Craig Aaron said, arguing that the emails reflect the ordinary activities of advocates.
“We would hope Judicial Watch were as respectful of our First Amendment right to petition the government as we are of their right to spin wildly alarmist tales about everyday email conversations.”
In her statement Friday, Blackburn also called on Free Press to reveal its funders. She asked Free Press to do so at a hearing this year but never received any documents from the group after the meeting.
"While Free Press promised me full disclosure of their donors, they have yet to comply. I believe this is an issue that requires closer scrutiny from the House," she said.