May 31, 2005

Can't buy me law

When we started working on this issue in Texas, people would warn us in hushed tones. "Do you know who you are up against?" "Did you know that they have 167 registered lobbyists"?

It was taboo to criticize SBC directly. You couldn't mention the fact that the incumbent phone companies get hundreds of millions of dollars of Universal Service Fund subsidies with little accountability.

It was impolite to mention that Phil King, the sponsor of the telecom bills,

"received $5,100 from the SBC Employees PAC, as well as $9,000 from Grande Communications PAC, $5,000 from AT&T, $5,000 from Texas Friends of Time Warner Cable, $5,000 from the Verizon Good Government Club and an additional $6,500 from various telecommunications industry companies and PACs according to the semiannual report of campaign contributions filed with the Texas Ethics Commission last January," as reported by the Daily Texan

The reputation in the halls of the Capitol was that "SBC never loses." That reputation of invulnerability has gone down in flames along with the legislative agenda.

Now, after losses in Texas, Florida, and Indiana, they're trying to make it up in Congress.

We hope the same grass roots passion, municipal pragmatism, and high-tech muscle will prevail in Congress.

Posted by alevin at May 31, 2005 03:20 PM