AT&T, Comcast, Quickly Returned To Being The Top Corporate Funders Of Anti-Democracy Insurrectionists

AT&T, Comcast, Quickly Returned To Being The Top Corporate Funders Of Anti-Democracy Insurrectionists

from the corruption-at-work dept

Much like the company’s dedication to women, AT&T’s dedication to not funding people eager to overthrow democracy appears to be somewhere between inconsistent and nonexistent. And the company certainly isn’t alone.

Shortly after January 6 a number of companies, including telecom giants like AT&T, publicly crowed about how they’d be ceasing all funding to politicians who supported the attack on the Capitol and the overturning of, you know, democracy. Of course that promise was never worth all that much, given that the umbrella lobbying orgs companies like AT&T used never really stopped financing terrible people.

Initially, AT&T made a big stink about how it had suspended funding to all 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the 2020 election. But not only did AT&T not actually suspend funding via its numerous policy and lobbying tendrils, it didn’t even really ever stop funding insurrectionists directly.

A more recent breakdown of campaign financing by Bloomberg found several things. One, big telecom, which has largely been forgotten about during the myopic, multi-year DC policy fixation on “big tech,” was far and away among the biggest donors to insurrectionists and election conspiracy theorists:

Bloomberg found that companies like Comcast not only didn’t pause donations to election deniers long, they ramped up the funding of those candidates right before the midterms, as it was working tirelessly to keep the FCC mired permanently in partisan gridlock so it can’t do any of the things the public wants (restoring net neutrality, restoring media consolidation rules).

As is usually the case, Comcast didn’t much want to talk about why it throws money at people trying to destroy democracy:

By the end of the 2021, the Philadelphia-based cable giant had not only resumed giving to those candidates, but increased its contributions throughout 2022 to $365,500, becoming the second-biggest donor to election deniers among the tech and telecom firms. Comcast didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The mainstream press being, well, the mainstream press, Bloomberg chooses to inform its readers that telecom companies are lobbying radical anti-democracy insurrectionists and conspiracy theorists to “boost broadband rollout”:

Conversely, telecom companies and semiconductor makers want more government aid for programs to boost broadband rollout and domestic manufacturing. That requires developing relationships with newly empowered Republicans.

Most of the federal COVID and infrastructure broadband funding has already been assigned. And most of the dictating of who gets that money is being determined on the state level, not the federal. Bloomberg just somehow forgets to mention that AT&T and Comcast have been working tirelessly, arm in arm with the GOP, to keep the FCC mired in partisan gridlock in perpetuity.

All told, most of the claims by corporations that they’d be more discerning about their campaign financing in the wake of January 6 wound up being bullshit. And any interest in campaign finance reform in the wake of this giant middle finger to democracy appears similarly hollow.

Filed Under: campaign donations, campaign finance reform, conspiracy theorists, election denier, elections, gop, insurrectionists, january 6, lobbying, maga, republican

Companies: at&t, comcast, verizon