Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Cavalcade of Capitalists: A Portion of those Phone and Cable Bill Payments Go To Political Influence

So, why don't they have a line item that says "service charge for lobbyists to pull in government favors"? Appalling to know:

Disclosures show that both sides [of the cable and telecommunications industry] and their allies collectively spent between $10.7 million and $11.2 million on lobbying and related activity for the year ended Sept. 30, 2007. The figures are contained in reports covering the periods from Oct. 1, 2006, to March 31, 2007, and from April 1, 2007, to Sept. 30, 2007. The latter report was due last week.

AT&T lobbyist disclosures show AT&T spent $600,000 to $700,000 to hire 26 lobbyists to represent the company on the legislation. AT&T reported spending an estimated $2.85 million on lobbying-related expenses.
And they feed us lines about how the large sums we pay each month are plowed right back into research and implementation of technology that make our service more efficient. Hiding the ugly details is called "effective marketing."

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