In response to the Comcast building proposal and the money Governor Corbett dedicated to the new project, I filed a Right to Know request looking at communications between Comcast executives and Governor Corbett’s office. The files didn’t produce anything nefarious, but it had a couple of interesting emails, which were dated the day of and before Governor Corbett’s budget address. In the emails, Governor Corbett was invited to an exclusive Olympic party hosted by David Cohen at the Comcast Center, and the other email told David Cohen that there would be a special Comcast shoutout in Governor Corbett’s budget address.
It’s not going to be hard guessing which email was sent first and which email was sent in return?
On February 3rd, Leslie Gromis Baker, Tom Corbett’s Chief of Staff, sent David Cohen a short email that read:
I wanted to give you a heads up that the gov is going to mention comcast tomorrow in his budget speech. Talks about major investments to PA.
On the following day, Tom Corbett gave his budget address and linked the work Comcast was doing in Pennsylvania to what the technology industry is to California. In his address, the governor stated:
The entertainment technology industry that many think California has the market on, is on the move in Pennsylvania too. Just a few weeks ago, I was in Philadelphia when Comcast announced a 1.2 billion-dollar plan to build an innovation and technology center.
When major companies make investments on that scale, they look for cities on the rise, and in this case, they called it right.
Why? Because we are building a stronger Pennsylvania.
Then right around the time Tom Corbett’s budget address was over, someone in the Governor’s Office received an invitation to one of David Cohen’s exclusive olympic parties. Very little was written about the event, but Philly Mag wrote:
Tuesday night, Comcast Corporation and EVP David L. Cohen hosted an Olympics viewing reception in the Comcast Center lobby. Comcast and NBCUniversal demonstrated to hundreds of guests how they are delivering the most comprehensive and technologically advanced viewing experience for any Winter Games — and recording number of people watching over the air as well as live streaming on the Internet. In addition to watching Olympics content on The Comcast Experience video wall, attendees interacted with the company’s newest technologies, including the X1 entertainment operating system, 4K ultra high-definition content, SEEiT (Comcast’s new partnership with Twitter), and cloud DVR.
Several former Olympians were in attendance along with members of the Philadelphia Curling Club, and guests got to have their pictures taken in a real bobsleigh. It was a very spirited party, and everyone was given Sochi Olympics pins to wear and American flags to wave. Guests were also treated to samplings of Russian cuisine and drinks throughout the evening.
The rest of the short request had back and forth chatter.