This article talks about the millions that BST, ATT, VZ and other phone companies spent on lobbyists JUST in Florida in 2006.
"BellSouth spent at least $1.6-million on Florida lobbyists last year, according to newly filed disclosure reports — more than twice as much as any other business spent to influence state government." For 31 lobbyists, plus the salaries & expenses of the 5 full-time lobbyists that BST employs. "AT&T spent $601,000 to hire 19 lobbyists in 2006." "Verizon and other telephone companies spent about $1-million to hire an additional 63 lobbyists. On the other side, cable companies and the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association spent $571,000 to hire 34 lobbyists. In addition to lobbying dollars, the money has poured in via campaign contributions. Over the past four years, BellSouth and AT&T put an additional $3.5-million into state political campaigns and Verizon and other telephone companies contributed $1.8-million. The cable groups, meanwhile, have dumped $770,141 into campaign coffers. [St. Pete Times]
But this was the best:
“It’s really about opening the marketplace so consumers can have more choices, better services and lower prices,’’ said AT&T spokesman Bill Marks. “Our vision is to be the only company that customers will ever want. We believe House Bill 529 will achieve all of this." [St. Pete Times]
What he meant was: Our vision is to be the only company.