Falcone, White House Ties Eyed Over LightSquared

Sep 21 2011 | 11:05am ET

Republicans are demanding that the White House turn over records of its contacts with Harbinger Capital Management founder Philip Falcone, implying that Falcone's support of Democrats may have played a role in the government's oversight of Harbinger's wireless Internet venture.

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), who heads the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology, said he is concerned that some federal officials and agencies haven't been eager to provide evidence or testify about global positioning systems interference problems with the LightSquared network. That does not "put our minds at ease about the possibility that this administration may be providing special favors to high-level financial donors."

Falcone isn't exactly a huge Democratic donor, having given $60,800 in total to Democratic causes with his wife. LightSquared CEO Sanjiv Ahuja has also given $30,400.

"People think we've made contributions to grease the wheels," Falcone told the Fox Business Network. "That is so wrong, it's disgusting."

The Harbinger chief told the Daily Beast he made the contribution to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee because his wife was holding a fundraiser for women in politics.

"She asked me to contribute," he said. "If I had said no, all hell would have broken loose."

The White House echoed Falcone's dismissiveness. "Every administration witness testifying at every hearing on LightSquared has been explicit in identifying the problems for GPS, and the need to resolve interference problems before LightSquared is allowed to move forward," White House spokesman Eric Schultz said. "We fully respect the FCC's independent process."


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