Smart Money picked up a Dow Jones story reporting that Michael Copps, a Democrat and member of the Federal Communications Commission, is voicing a growing concern over the big private equity deals—particularly in media. Seems he’s a bit skittish over the volume and size of these deals over the last year, especially in light of the subprime fallout and a grim economic outlook for the coming year.

"There’s been a whole raft (of acquisitions) involving private equity in recent years and I think we need to ask questions about them," said Copps, who also believes that ownership structures are becoming unclear, which apparently makes it tougher for the FCC to crack down on companies when something goes wrong.

FCC chairman and Republican Kevin Martin so far is downplaying Copps’ concerns.

Nevertheless, Copps is exposing what might be a tricky year for over-leveraged deals, and a situation that might work its way into all sorts of corners in the private equity deal landscape.