Update: Here's What $570,000 Gets You in Congress

UPDATED 9/16/11: Now with additional campaign contribution data.

Maybe it’s the water in Washington that’s making people silly. Or maybe it’s AT&T’s hefty campaign spending. Either way, something’s got people believing AT&T when it says that up is down, green is red, 1 + 1 = 3 — and that its proposed takeover of T-Mobile would be good for America.

Look no further than the 15 shameless representatives who just signed a letter urging President Obama — whose Justice Department is suing AT&T to block the deal — to support a settlement that would enable the merger and give AT&T control over T-Mobile.

Their request makes no sense. We’ve debunked every AT&T myth about this disastrous merger. The Justice Department boldly declared that the deal breaks antitrust law. And AT&T’s own leaked documents prove that its only goal is to snuff out a competitor.

As Free Press Action Fund Research Director S. Derek Turner put it, "Surely these members can't believe that a letter repeating long-debunked talking points would cause the Department of Justice to reverse course and ignore the evidence behind its lawsuit."

Either these members of Congress actually believe in the fantasies AT&T cooks up, or they are so worried that AT&T will turn off its spigot of campaign contributions that they’ll sign anything the telecom puts in front of them.

Speaking of which, it turns out that these signers have collectively received more than $445,000 $570,000 in campaign cash from AT&T:

Career Contributions from AT&T

Rep. Joe Baca (Calif.): $70,000

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (Calif.): $69,500

Rep. Henry Cuellar (Texas): $54,701

Rep. Mike Ross (Ark.): $51,250

Rep. John Barrow (Ga.): $38,000

Rep. Jim Costa (Calif.): $37,250

Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.): $37,250

Rep. David Scott (Ga.): $37,000

Rep. Dennis Cardoza (Calif.): $31,500

Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.): $31,500

Rep. Leonard Boswell (Iowa): $28,500

Rep. Ben Chandler (Kent.): $28,500

Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.): $25,450

Rep. Mike Michaud (Maine): $25,000

Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.): $9,500

(Source: OpenSecrets.org)

It’s time these members of Congress paid a price for raking in campaign contributions while ignoring the plain truth about this job-killing deal. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Pick up the phone and tell your representative there’s no excuse for supporting this merger. Click here for some tips on what to say, and to tell us how your call went.

  2. Post this message, or a version of it, on your rep’s Facebook wall (you may have to “like” the page first):

“Rep. NAME, shame on you for signing on to a letter supporting AT&T’s proposed takeover of T-Mobile. As the Department of Justice has said in its lawsuit against AT&T, this deal will result in lost jobs, less competition and less consumer choice. You’ve ignored these facts to satisfy the needs of one giant corporation. Please recant and make a public statement against this bad merger.”

The facts don’t support this merger, and AT&T knows it. So it’s turning to old tricks like getting its paid-for cronies to sign a nonsensical letter of support.

Repeating lies ad nauseam is standard stuff for AT&T, but we should expect more from our elected officials.

Shame on them.

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good