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Friday, October 18, 2002

After my off-hand reference to the Carlyle Group (below), I decided to check out their web site again. Many of the names of Carlyle partners and directors are very familiar: James Baker, John Major, Arthur Levitt, Frank Carlucci. Other names didn't jump out at me (I've only been a voracious news reader for the past year or so), so I decided to check out the bios of some of them. So, starting today and going until at least today, I present a new feature: The Carlyle Director of the Day! Today's director is William E. Kennard:

William E. Kennard
Managing Director
US Buyouts – Global Telecommunications and Media Group
Washington, DC

William E. Kennard joined The Carlyle Group in May 2001 as a Managing Director in the Global Telecommunications and Media Group. He is based in Washington, DC.

Before joining The Carlyle Group, Mr. Kennard served as Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission from November 1997 to January 2001. During his tenure, he implemented the Telecommunications Act of 1996, designing policies that created an explosion of new wireless phones, brought the Internet to a majority of American households, and resulted in billions of dollars of investment in new broadband technologies. He also shaped the outcome of the most significant communications mergers in history, such as AOL-Time Warner, Worldcom-MCI, CBS-Viacom, Verizon-GTE and SBC-Ameritech.

Mr. Kennard served as the FCC’s general counsel from December 1993 to November 1997. Before serving in government, Mr. Kennard was a partner and member of the board of directors of the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand.

Mr. Kennard graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and received his law degree from Yale Law School.

Media consolidation is one of the major obstacles to real democracy in this country today, and not only does Carlyle mention Kennard's involvement in making it a reality, they brag about it. When you realize the connections that Carlyle's other directors have (most major governments, oil, weapons, finance, and communications), you get the idea that if they are not currently the real world government, they intend to be. And while their web site doesn't have a "future directors" page, you can bet it would include George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, John Ashcroft, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and, if they last that long, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. And you can bet that the current directors who previously "served" in the Reagan, Bush I or Clinton regimes were well aware of their opportunities to become fabulously rich directors of the Carlyle Group if they, like Mr. Kennard, steer policy in the direction Carlyle prefers. The piddling six-figure incomes we taxpayers pay them while in government pale by comparison. And don't forget that George Bush Senior and Osama bin Laden's father are (or at least were) major investors in Carlyle.