The 12 month countdown toward the Deathstar swallowing T-Mobile continues. One of the things that has people against the merger worried is the amount of lobbying influence AT&T has in D.C.
Opensecrets.org is a group whose mission is to track lobbying money in government. A quick search reveals that AT&T Inc is on their “Heavy Hitters” list. They attempt to make their giving seem equal across parties, but definately lean more toward Republicans. http://bit.ly/fjHti3 . While they market themselves publically under the AT&T logo, further lobbying breakdown shows that the individual companies they’ve eaten over time are alive on paper. This gives AT&T 68 entities capable of multi-state political influence. Some of these folded in companies might be able to lobby on issues important to AT&T, but appear completely unrelated to them.
The amount of money isn’t the only bothersome thing. Some of the recipients are in positions now that might make them…more…inclined, we’ll say, to help this “good deal” come to pass. For example, in the 2010 election cycle, AT&T gave a total of $77,300 to “Cryin'” John Boehner! Boehner has come under fire from citizens and politicians alike since becoming Speaker of the House. Mostly for pursuing social agenda items like healthcare reform (http://nyti.ms/hiV1iw) and promising to enforce the mis-named “Defense of Marriage Act” ( http://bit.ly/eG8RSr ) instead of creating jobs. You know, like he promised to do during his campaign.
Who else would help them? How about John McCain? In 2010, they gave him $360,438, making McCain their top recipient. McCain has grown increasingly irrelevant to public debate on a lot of issues. His temper is well documented as a matter of concern by people across political lines. ( http://bit.ly/4dWULg ) ( http://bit.ly/16ucFr ) ( http://bit.ly/gMp56i )
And just for fun: http://bit.ly/bOrt3E
I could go on and on, citing examples for each donation they’ve made, but I think you get my point.
Both of these men need an opportunity to look like they’re doing something real. Something relevant that appears to create jobs, even though it will likely result in a net loss. A simple project where hard work isn’t required.
AT&T can provide them with that opportunity. They’ve already provided them with the money.
Here’s the AT&T summary page if you want to follow the money further. http://bit.ly/fjHti3