Telecoms Paused PAC Spending To Insurrectionists, But Their Umbrella Lobbying Orgs Didn't

from the bad-faith-bullshit dept

Like many companies, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon recently made a big stink about how they were pausing all PAC spending in supposed disgust at the insurrectionists in Congress whose bullshit resulted in a fatal riot at the Capitol. As noted already, that doesn't mean all that much. PAC spending is usually paused after an election to help get the lay of the land. Also, pausing PAC spending for a bit doesn't really justify the four years they spent enabling and normalizing fascism and bigotry just to nab merger approvals, deregulatory favors, and massive, pointless tax breaks.

Granted while Comcast and friends paused direct PAC spending to the alt-reality, anti-democratic bullshit artists in Congress, it's worth noting that their umbrella lobbying and policy organizations didn't. Sure, Comcast temporarily suspended PAC spending, but the NCTA, which largely represents cable giants like Comcast, didn't:

"NCTA – The Internet & Television Association counts as a member Comcast, which said it would cut off objectors indefinitely. The trade group’s PAC donated the maximum $10,000 to the joint fundraising committee of McCarthy, as well as other objecting Republican House members: $6,000 to Jim Jordan of Ohio, $4,000 to Elise Stefanik of New York, and $2,000 to Rep. Greg Pence of Indiana. NCTA’s president and CEO Michael Powell tweeted during the riots, “This is a sad and deeply disturbing moment for our nation…”, but did not respond to a tweet from a Virginia constituent of objector Rep. Morgan Griffith about the group’s future donations to objectors."

It's a lovely example of how much of this opposition is performative nonsense that obscures these companies' and groups' culpability in normalizing, enabling, and profiting off of a historically corrupt authoritarian and obvious bigot. Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, the only remaining major wireless players after Trump's FCC greenlit job and competition killing industry mergers, also put on a show about how they had paused PAC spending, only to have umbrella trade organizations like the CTIA continue funding politicians its membership pretends to be outraged by:

"CTIA – The Wireless Association includes Verizon, which is pausing donations to objectors through 2021, and AT&T, pausing indefinitely to the objectors, and the group has not yet published a statement about the Electoral College challenge on its website or Twitter account. The group’s PAC contributed $2,000 to McCarthy’s campaign and $4,000 to Rep. Steve Scalise of Oklahoma, as well as $1,500 to Rep. Jordan and $1,000 to Sen. Rick Scott."

Of course this isn't just happening in telecom. Countless companies engaged in the same PAC spending theater only to have their primary trade and lobbying organizations continue on happily as if these opportunistic lawmakers aren't culpable for the death of five (technically seven if you include post-event suicides) people. Even then, most of these companies will reboot normal PAC spending the very millisecond they detect that the public outrage has minimized or shifted even slightly, which you can almost already feel occurring.

Either we're serious about punishing lawmakers who used bullshit to encourage insurrection or we aren't, and there's every indication that most of these efforts are more public relations patty cake than serious contrition.

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Filed Under: campaign funds, election finance, insurrection, lobbying, political donations, telcos
Companies: at&t, comcast, ctia, ncta, verizon


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  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 27 Jan 2021 @ 7:53am

    Big of them to cut off a little, but not all of the money after an election cycle with plenty of time to turn the corruption spigot back on before the midterms once it's old news and the heat's died down.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), 27 Jan 2021 @ 8:29am

    No Worries...

    ... they will just pass a law making it illegal to turn off or reduce campaign funding.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2021 @ 8:43am

    It's a lovely example of how much of this opposition is performative nonsense that obscures these companies' and groups' culpability in normalizing, enabling, and profiting off of a historically corrupt authoritarian and obvious bigot.

    And now, off of ongoing fascism.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Jan 2021 @ 12:00pm

    all just for show! no way will they stop doing what they do best! getting millions for doing nothing and fucking things up for everyone else, particular the very people who paid into the fund they're taking the money from!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Cowardly Lion, 28 Jan 2021 @ 9:35am

    Cheap men in cheap suits

    ...$6,000 to Jim Jordan of Ohio...
    ...as well as $1,500 to Rep. Jordan...

    Astonishing what these lickspittle sell-outs will do for corporate crumbs...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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