Schumer reassures New York about Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, doesn’t mention his brother was the dealmaker
By Kevin Connor  •  Feb 17, 2014 at 09:38 EST

Following news of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, key members of Congress promised to take a close look at the merger. Some, like Senator Al Franken, sharply criticized the deal and what it would mean for consumers. Senator Amy Klobuchar, the chair of the antitrust subcommittee, announced plans for a hearing to “scrutinize the details of this merger and its potential consequences for both consumers and competition.”

All it took to reassure Senator Chuck Schumer that the deal was a good thing was a quick phone call over to Comcast executives, who were happy to offer vague assurances about continued jobs commitments in New York State.

Schumer is a member of the Senate Judiciary’s antitrust subcommittee, like Franken and Klobuchar, but made no mention of antitrust or consumer issues in a lengthy press release announcing that he had spoken to Comcast executives.

His assurances about the deal are interesting in light of the fact that one of the key attorneys involved is his younger brother, Robert Schumer. The younger Schumer led Paul, Weiss. Rifkind’s work for Time Warner Cable in connection with the potential sale. The American Lawyer named Schumer Dealmaker of the Week for his work. The article did not mention that Schumer’s older brother is a US Senator, but noted that he and his team had anticipated and prepared for regulatory obstacles:

As to what is likely to be an arduous path to regulatory approval, Schumer says his team pushed for a deal that anticipated the hurdles ahead. “We obviously had to be confident that we believed the deal could get done,” he says. “There were significant negotiations around the contract terms involving the regulatory approvals, but obviously we were very comfortable with it.”

It seems likely, based on his public statements so far, that Chuck Schumer will not be one of these “hurdles,” though that may have more to do with his tendency to go to bat for Wall Street and big corporations than his relationship with his brother. He received more contributions from Time Warner Cable during his 2010 re-election campaign than any other Senator, according to Open Secrets, and was fifth on Comcast’s list. These amounts were relatively small compared to Schumer’s fundraising haul from attorneys at his brother’s firm, which topped his donor list with contributions of $145,550 – nearly triple what the firm gave to any other member of Congress.

The Schumer brothers seem to be on good terms. This picture shows them and their families posing together at Chuck’s swearing-in in 2011. Bob donates large sums to Democrats, including his brother. Politico tried to gin up some family drama in 2012 with an article on Bob donating $1000 to Mitch McConnell. A source said he made the donation for “client-relationship purposes,” but was otherwise a committed Democratic donor.

Chuck Schumer is both a member of the Senate Judiciary’s antitrust subcomittee and the brother of a key attorney in the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal.

Chuck Schumer will not be the Comcast-Time Warner Cable team’s only friend in government. Several antitrust officials in the Obama administration have Comcast ties, as Republic Report has noted. And there are significant Obama bundlers and donors and former regulatory officials on both sides of the deal. The cable giants’ merger is not a done deal yet, but the ongoing merger between big business and government should ease the path toward regulatory approval.

Update, 1/18/2014: Schumer has recused himself from further consideration of the Comcast deal. Read more here.

22 Responses to “Schumer reassures New York about Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, doesn’t mention his brother was the dealmaker”

  1. Chuck Schumer's Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports Says:

    [...] Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not disclose that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  2. Chuck Schumer's Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports | We Report Says:

    [...] February 18, 2014 Chuck Schumer's Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not disclose that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  3. Chuck Schumer's Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports | New York City Informer Says:

    [...] Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not disclose that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  4. Chuck Schumer’s Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports | The News On Time Says:

    [...] Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not disclose that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  5. Who needs a lobbyest Says:

    [...] Warner Cable, but did not disclose that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. In a statement on Thursday, Schumer's office said he is "pleased with the news" that [...]

  6. Chuck Schumer’s Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports | The Daily Float Says:

    [...] Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not disclose that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  7. NY DEMOCRAT SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER USED TO BE A GOOD GUY – | bonjukianpatten Says:

    [...] Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast‘s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not disclose that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  8. Chuck Schumer’s Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports | Political Ration Says:

    [...] Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not disclose that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  9. Chuck Schumer’s Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports (UPDATE) | My Blog Says:

    [...] Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not mention that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  10. Chuck Schumer’s Brother Tied To Comcast Deal He Supports (UPDATE) | Both Sides Clash Says:

    [...] Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a top Senate Democrat and member of the body’s antitrust subcommittee, appeared to give his blessing to Comcast’s purchase of Time Warner Cable, but did not mention that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. [...]

  11. Schumer Recuses Himself From Considering Comcast-Time Warner Deal | Konfeksiyon Tekstil Says:

    [...] assured by Comcast that the company would work to keep Time Warner jobs in New York state. But the LittleSis blog pointed out on Monday that his brother, Robert Schumer, worked on the deal as an [...]

  12. Schumer recuses himself from Comcast deal, claims no knowledge of brother’s role - Eyes on the Ties Says:

    [...] Schumer reassures New York about Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, doesn’t mention his brother w… [...]

  13. Five lessons from the “Wolf of Sesame Street” investigation | PandoDaily Says:

    [...] underscoring that truism, consider that in the days since we broke our story, LittleSis broke a huge story about U.S. Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) conflict in the Time Warner-Comcast deal, and [...]

  14. Chuck Schumer Calls for Violating the Constitution - ALIPAC Says:

    [...] Time Warner Cable, but did not mention that his brother was involved in the mega-deal. The news was first reported by the website LittleSis. Schumer's office said on Monday night that the senator was not aware of his brother's involvement, [...]

  15. Comcast’s Proposed Takeover of Time Warner Cable | themovementoftime Says:

    [...] Schumer reassures New York about Comcast – Time Warner Deal, does mention his brother was the … [...]

  16. Netflix as Cable’s Whipping Boy: Oligopoly and Oligarchy Power at Work | The Daily Float Says:

    [...] younger brother, Robert Schumer led Time Warner Cable effort in the merger;American Lawyer dubbed him “dealmaker of the [...]

  17. The Blow Magazine | Netflix as Cable’s Whipping Boy: Oligopoly and Oligarchy Power at Work Says:

    [...] younger brother, Robert Schumer led Time Warner Cable effort in the merger;American Lawyer dubbed him “dealmaker of the [...]

  18. Netflix as Cable’s Whipping Boy: Oligopoly and Oligarchy Power at Work | Political Ration Says:

    [...] younger brother, Robert Schumer led Time Warner Cable effort in the merger; American Lawyer dubbed him “dealmaker of the [...]

  19. Schumer recusal raises questions about conflicted role in Ticketmaster deal - Eyes on the Ties Says:

    [...] Schumer reassures New York about Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, doesn’t mention his brother w… [...]

  20. Dealmaker of the Week: Paul Weiss' Robert Schumer | Law.com Says:

    [...] jobs at a Time Warner Cable call center in Buffalo. (Following the publication over the weekend of an article noting his personal ties to the deal, the senator said he would recuse himself from any congressional consideration of the matter in [...]

  21. ComWarnerCable | themovementoftime Says:

    [...] Schumer reassures New York about Comcast – Time Warner Deal, does mention his brother was the … [...]

  22. Schumer Recuses Himself From Considering Comcast-Time Warner Deal | PROGRESSIVE VOICES Says:

    [...] assured by Comcast that the company would work to keep Time Warner jobs in New York state. But the LittleSis blog pointed out on Monday that his brother, Robert Schumer, worked on the deal as an [...]

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