Telcos Pump Cash into Rockefeller’s Coffers

Over at Threat Level Ryan Single reports that all of a sudden, Senator Rockefeller, the putative custodian of legislation to give telecommunications companies immunity from privacy lawsuits, is getting lots of cash from such companies. And most of these donations come from out-of-state donors (Verizon and AT&T employees who do not live in West Virginia). Suspicious! Single reports:

Top Verizon executives, including CEO Ivan Seidenberg and President Dennis Strigl, wrote personal checks to Rockefeller totaling $23,500 in March, 2007. Prior to that apparently coordinated flurry of 29 donations, only one of those executives had ever donated to Rockefeller (at least while working for Verizon).

In fact, prior to 2007, contributions to Rockefeller from company executives at AT&T and Verizon were mostly non-existent.

But that changed around the same time that the companies began lobbying Congress to grant them retroactive immunity from lawsuits seeking billions for their alleged participation in secret, warrantless surveillance programs that targeted Americans.

Source: Threat Level

What’s so amazing is how it doesn’t take a lot of cash to influence politics…A few thousand here and a few thousand there, and you’ve got yourself something.