Minority media group applauds FCC waiver for Obama donor

The nonpartisan Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is applauding the recent Federal Communications Commission decision to make an exception for companies, including one run by an Obama donor, in an upcoming airwave auction.

The group hailed the FCC’s decision, saying it will encourage small businesses to participate in the auction, and called political backlash from Republicans “unfortunate.”

Earlier this week, the FCC voted to allow Grain Management — run by David Grain, who Republicans note has donated to the Obama campaign — to apply for benefits in the auction aimed at small businesses.

Grain licenses its airwaves to wireless industry giants AT&T and Verizon.

Under the agency’s current rules — which are set to be updated later this year — Grain and other companies like it would be kept from small business benefits in the auction because they license their airwaves to larger companies.

The agency’s vote was met with anger from Republicans on Capitol Hill, who criticized the agency’s Democratic leadership for aiding a political ally.

But the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is applauding the decision.

“The Commission took a step in the right direction by enabling greater, near-term participation by small businesses in the upcoming” airwave auction, the group’s President David Honig said in a statement.

-- This story was updated at 4:33 p.m. on 7/31/14 to clarify MMTC's position.