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Summary:

If you had any doubt that money talks in politics, consider today’s development in the lobbying effort for AT&T’s proposed $39 billion buyou…

Money changing hands
photo: Corbis / Jonathan Gelber

If you had any doubt that money talks in politics, consider today’s development in the lobbying effort for AT&T’s proposed $39 billion buyout of T-Mobile. Seventy-two Democratic lawmakers sent a letter to the FCC and Justice Department praising the deal. Turns out, 66 of the more than 70 signatories received a combined half-million dollars in campaign contributions from the telecom giant in the most recent election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Most of the donations came from political action committees (PACs) associated with AT&T (NYSE: T), which is the single-largest corporate donor to members of Congress over the last two decades. To get an idea of how widely AT&T spreads its money around the nation’s capitol, consider this: during the last election cycle, the company gave money to 391 of the 435 members of the House, and 78 of the 100 members of the Senate.

The top two recipients, not surprisingly, were House Speaker John Boehner, the Ohio Republican, who received $77,300; and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat, who received $36,150. Neither signed the letter.

Here are the 72 House Democrats who sent the letter, followed by how much each received from the AT&T in the last election.

Name Amount (2010 cycle)

G. K. Butterfield $10,500
Gene Green $10,000
Peter Welch $6,500
Joe Baca $10,250
John Barrow $10,000
Dan Boren $10,000
Robert Brady $9,000
Ben Chandler $7,000
Silvestre Reyes $8,500
William Lacy Clay, Jr. $10,500
Al Green $10,000
Alcee Hastings $10,000
Nick J. Rahall $10,000
James P. Moran $2,500
Gregory W. Meeks $9,500
Albio Sires $9,000
Tim Holden $8,000
Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. $11,250
Ed Pastor $10,000
Mike Ross $10,250
Rubén Hinojosa $7,500
Henry Cuellar $10,000
Joseph Crowley $10,000
Eddie Bernice Johnson $9,000
Luis Gutierrez $5,500
Adam Schiff $5,500
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. $3,350
Adam Smith $4,500
Corrine Brown $6,000
Chaka Fattah $8,000
Henry C. Johnson, Jr. $2,000
Michael Michaud $8,500
Loretta Sanchez $11,000
Donna M. Christensen $7,500
Ted Deutch $6,000
Jim Costa $10,500
Betty McCollum $1,000
Ed Perlmutter $5,500
Brad Miller $2,000
Yvette Clarke $7,000
Grace Napolitano $4,000
Steve Cohen $5,000
Ron Kind $7,000
Betty Sutton $4,000
Heath Shuler $10,000
David Scott $11,500
Jared Polis NA
Cedric Richmond NA
Shelley Berkley $7,000
Frederica Wilson NA
Tim Bishop $10,500
Marcia Fudge $9,000
Rosa DeLauro $2,000
Karen Bass NA
Christopher S. Murphy $6,800
Frank Pallone $7,500
Laura Richardson $8,000
Dennis Cardoza $10,000
David Cicilline NA
Raúl Grijalva $2,000
Danny K. Davis $6,000
Brad Sherman $5,500
Ben Ray Luján $5,000
Dutch Ruppersberger $7,500
Terri Sewell NA
John B. Larson $5,500
Charles A. Gonzalez $10,500
James R. Langevin $8,000
Collin C. Peterson $4,500
Jerry McNerney $12,750
Joe Courtney $4,250
Gerald Connolly $9,500

Total $496,400

Source: Center for Responsive Politics

  1. I think it’s time to dissolve congress and just let the people vote for themselves. Congress no longer represent the people it serves, just the “people” who pay the most.

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    1. We also now have the technology to allow for direct democracy.

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      1. I often think this, but how easy would it be then to rig the computers?  At least with a representative government where they vote in the open, at least you know the vote isn’t rigged, even if the voters are.

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    2. how much did Sprint and Verizon ‘donate’ i mean what’s the point of this story?

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  2. Sad…

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  3. What else is new? It’s pretty common to pay politics. Companys like Boeing are doing this since many years to get profitable deals…

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  4. What’s pathetic is how cheap these politicians are. Time and time again, they cast votes diametrically opposed to the best interests of the voters in exchange for payments of such small amounts. Yes AT&T paid a lot of money in the aggregate, but these congressmen and women individually sold and sell their votes for very little considering the damage they do to their constituents. Lobbying, eh.. Bagman is more like it.

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  5. $496,400 (the total) divided by 66 (the signers who took money from AT&T in 2010) is $7,521. According to OpenSecrets, that’s basically the average amount for members of the House in the 2010 cycle. It looks like there is no discernable difference between how much money members signing the letter took from AT&T and those that that did not sign the letter ::
    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000076&cycle=2010

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