DILEMMA_TelecomminucationsThe use of telecommunication services – phone, internet, and television – are central to life in the 21st century. However, most companies in the telecom industry channel large sums of money into the political campaigns of Republican candidates. AT&T, for example, donated $350,000 to the House Tea Party Caucus in 2012.[1] Many companies also oppose public interest regulations, such as net neutrality, the notion that internet service providers should treat all data equally and not restrict access based on the ability to pay web-traffic fees.[2] The table below shows the total political contributions of various telecom companies and the proportion allocated to Republican candidates. By using the services of the offending companies, you are indirectly supporting the current far-right agenda:[3]

  • Limiting women’s ability to exercise their right to choose whether to have an abortion.
  • Dismantling or privatizing Medicare and Social Security systems.
  • Eliminating the right of union members to engage in collective bargaining.
  • Thwarting efforts to address global warming.
  • Reducing funding for anti-poverty programs, such as food stamps.
  • Creating a tax rate system that does not require millionaires to pay a higher rate than the middle class.

 

Total Contributions to Political Candidates in 2012

Political Contributions in 2012 to Republican Candidates

% to Republicans

Credo

$0

$0

0%

Earth Tones

$0

$0

0%

USI Wireless (US Internet), Minneapolis only

$0

$0

0%

NetZero (United Online)

$6,250

$3,000

48%

Earthlink

$9,250

$7,700

83%

Exede Internet (ViaSat )

$13,017

$10,625

82%

Cincinnati Bell

$20,200

$14,750

73%

Mediacom

$20,992

$14,250

68%

Hughes Net (Hughes Communications)

$49,100

$20,000

41%

Sprint (SoftBank Corporation)*

$53,136

$31,585

59%

Charter Communications

$150,192

$93,601

62%

Windstream Communications

$180,605

$110,000

61%

DirecTV

$653,495

$408,958

63%

T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom)

$775,761

$437,500

56%

CenturyLink

$1,060,796

$596,653

56%

Dish Network

$1,068,584

$416,609

39%

Time Warner Cable

$1,153,532

$550,962

48%

Cox Communications (Cox Enterprises)

$3,174,583

$586,357

18%

Verizon Communications

$3,480,301

$2,004,212

58%

AT&T

$4,890,553

$3,221,106

66%

Comcast

$5,205,542

$2,034,215

39%

*Data for this company reflect 2014 contributions.
Source: Opensecrets.org

 

 

Take Action

  1. Switch to a Progressive Mobile Phone Service.
  2. Switch to a Progressive Long-Distance Call Provider for Landline Phone Service.
  3. Use a Low-Harm Broadband Internet Service.
  4. Use Low-Harm Television Access.