News AT&T Gives Local Political Consultant $50K
posted by May 21 at 9:24 AMon
The latest lobbying disclosure reports show that AT&T spent $5.2 million on lobbying in the first quarter of 2008. Much of the money was spent on the telecom company’s efforts to persuade Congress to grant them immunity from lawsuits for their participation in helping the U.S. government violate your 4th Amendment rights by spying on you for the NSA.
According to OpenSecrets.org, $50,000 of AT&T’s first quarter spending went to Mercury Strategies, a Seattle political shop, that has focused on another pet AT&T cause—one that is antithetical to the interests of Seattle net content providers like Amazon.com …
As a major Internet Service Provider, AT&T has been fighting against legislation to secure Net Neutrality—the concept that no matter what web address you type in to your browser— Foxnews.com or http:www.Opensecrets.org/ … Boy Scouts of America or Teenage Witchcraft.com—it will show up on your monitor with equal speed and clarity.
ISPs like AT&T want to be able to deliver high-paying customers’ sites to your computer faster, while relegating indie sites to Internet back roads.
It’d be as if rich people who pay more for using more water also got faster, hotter water.
I’ve reported on Mercury’s anti-net neutrality work in the past, like when they set out to thwart U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee’s efforts to ensure net neutrality back in 2006.
Indeed, AT&T and its lobbyists have been successful in blocking net neutrality legislation for several years now.
It’s always a gas when there’s a local angle on a prominent NYT editorial.
p.s. to the Mercury people I met last night: Sorry. Got home last night after teasing you about your past AT&T work and did my quick website gazing before going to bed, and this whole AT&T lobbying money story showed up. So, I had to see if Mercury was still on the list. And yep.