AT&T Wheel Of Lobbying Astroturf Fortune Lands On 'Latinos'

from the ah,-the-latinos dept

A few years back, we discussed an article by Declan McCullagh, which laid out some of the sneakier tactics of lobbyist groups to pressure the government to support some position using letterhead from various special interest groups:
"You go down the Latino people, the deaf people, the farmers, and choose them.... You say, 'I can't use this one--I already used them last time...' We had their letterhead. We'd just write the letter. We'd fax it to them and tell them, 'You're in favor of this.'"
It looks like AT&T's lobbyists went through the list and they're back around to the top with the "Latino people." Suddenly, and for no clear reason, The Hispanic Institute and the Latino Coaltion have decided that supporting the merger of AT&T with T-Mobile is of utmost importance to them. They've put out statements with such nonsensical claims like:
The proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile holds great promise for all Americans, and especially those of Hispanic heritage.
What's in it for these groups? Money, mainly:
One DC insider informs us that rumblings on K Street suggest AT&T had called every civil rights group in the United States for support within fifteen minutes of the deal being announced. Fearful of losing AT&T donations -- most of these groups quickly got to parroting prepared AT&T statements, unconcerned about the actual impact of a T-Mobile deal. Getting funding for a new events center apparently dulls any ethical pangs felt using your organization as a hired stage prop.
It's really difficult not to be cynical when you see this kind of thing playing out. What's really depressing is that no matter how many times this rather obvious practice is exposed, it just keeps on happening.
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Filed Under: latinos, lobbying, merger
Companies: at&t, t-mobile


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  1. icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), 15 Apr 2011 @ 3:18pm

    To AT&T, et al:

    There seems to have been an issue at the printers. They printed more of my letterhead than I had requested them to. I am sorry to announce that I need some way of removing this superfluous stationary and would be much obliged if you can take it off my hands. I would be more than willing to accept a donation from you on behalf of the printers to help them pay the extra expense their mistake has caused them. If you find yourself in need of extra letterhead, I would be happy to supply it for you.

    Thank you for your time.

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