LightSquared refuses to release communications with White House

{mosads}FCC officials have said they will not allow the company to move forward until the GPS issues are resolved.

Republican lawmakers began calling for an investigation of the company’s lobbying efforts after emails revealed LightSquared had communicated with senior White House aides. The administration also reportedly asked an Air Force general to change his testimony in a congressional briefing to make it more supportive of the company.

The White House and LightSquared deny any improper influence.

“If LightSquared has nothing to hide and would like to put questions of improper influence at the FCC, Department of Commerce and White House to rest, the public release of these communications would allow Congress and the American people to fully examine the facts and decide for themselves,” Grassley wrote in his request to the company earlier this month.

But in LightSquared’s response, the company worried that the GPS industry would only try to distort any documents that the company released.

“Given the transparent efforts of the GPS industry to politicize this issue, I admittedly have concerns that any materials we provide may be used selectively or taken out of context,” wrote Mark Paoletta, a lawyer representing LightSquared.

A LightSquared executive told The Hill last week he believes the GPS industry has pushed negative political stories about LightSquared in an attempt to discredit the company and prevent the launch of its network. 

In the letter to Grassley, the company argued that the senator should also request documents from the GPS industry to gain a complete picture of the lobbying efforts surrounding LightSquared’s proposed network.

A spokeswoman for Grassley said the senator would request similar information from GPS makers Garmin, Trimble and John Deere if it would mean that LightSquared would release its communications.

“The public’s business ought to be public,” Grassley said Thursday.


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