WDC recently posted two blogs about AT&T contributions to legislators and a controversial bill it is strongly pushing to let the state license cable providers instead of letting local communities continue to pick their provider. One of the blogs talked about the sudden surge in AT&T campaign contributions to Republican Representative Phil Montgomery, the bill's Assembly sponsor, and Republican Assembly Speaker Michael Huebsch.
We've since learned the bill's primary Senate sponsor, Democrat Jeff Plale, accepted a $1,000 contribution from the phone giant on March 15, a week before he introduced the proposal.
A campaign finance report filed March 26 by one of AT&T's political action committees also showed AT&T contributed $4,800 to the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee about a month before the bill was introduced. This committee is controlled by Huebsch. It is one of four committees that Democratic and Republican legislative leaders in the Senate and Assembly use to shake down large special interest contributions.
In Plale's case, it's curious timing for a hefty campaign contribution. Last year when Plale was up for election, he received only $150 from AT&T, and he won't face reelection until 2010.
Between 2000 and 2005, Plale received a total of $2,150 from AT&T PACs.