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How Much is Bush's Telco Lobbying Worth? Not Much, Apparently

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February 29, 2008

The same day President Bush made another pitch for telecom immunity in the current FISA Bill before the House, Roll Call reported that the GOP is miffed that the President's and House and Senate Republicans' lobbying on behalf of the telcos isn't raking in nearly enough love in the form of contributions to the party. The paper writes:

"GOP leadership aides are grumbling that their party isn't getting more political money from the telecommunications industry."

"...It's quite discouraging," said one GOP leadership aide, referring to the disparity in giving from the telecommunications industry in light of the FISA debate, but also the broader lack of support for Republicans from the business community in general."

"...In a closed-door session earlier this week, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) exhorted his colleagues to get off their "dead asses" and start raising money for the party. Fully 142 of them have not yet pledged or contributed funds to the NRCC.

Incidentally, it's Rep. Boehner who keeps trotting out the telcom lawsuits as a cash cow for trial lawyers line. We guess that's his special method of fundraising: lying.

Roll Call points that only Sprint donates more to Dems than Republicans, and that "[t]he other three companies, AT&T, Verizon and Qwest, still give a majority to Republicans but by slimmer margins than in years past." It's worth noting that Qwest is not suspected of participating in the NSA wiretap program, and is not lobbying for telecom immunity in the current FISA legislation before the House.

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