July 4, 2007
AT&T and its lobbyists
I was pleased to receive a call from my state Senator Fred Risser, but upset with his message. AT&T had delivered a book full of names of his constituents, supposedly in support of the bill to eliminate local control of cable licenses.
WISCONSIN CONSUMERS WANT VIDEO CHOICE!
Your constituent, listed below
EDWARD GARVEY (supports bringing real alternatives to cable in Wisconsin.)
There it was. My own page. Thank you, AT&T and your gaggle of lobbyists. My name, home address, and a message of support for the bill that I oppose. (The bill the state Democratic Party Chair had been hired to push through our legislature.)
Turns out I am not the only one listed as a supporter of AT&T among many who oppose this corporate power grab. Former Madison Mayor Paul Soglin got his own page; Cynthia Laitman, who led the effort to get the Democratic Convention to oppose AT&T, got a page as well! She is not happy. Reps Sondy Pope-Roberts and Joe Parisi got their page after voting against the bill! They are not happy, Risser is not happy, Soglin and I are unhappy and Laitman is furious. Today, the Wisconsin State Journal ran a good story on this fraud.
This effort to use so-called grass-roots efforts (we call this astroturf, not grass) to bamboozle legislators is headed by former Doyle spokesman Thad Nation. (Don't you wonder if that is his real name?) Nation says, "You had to take a proactive step to get on the list." Yah, sure Thad. Like blogging against it? Raising hell that Joe Weinke was one of your lobbyists? Are those "proactive" steps?
So how did five opponents of this bill get on the list of supporters? Don't look to AT&T for answers. They claim that names and home addresses were not part of their customer database. Whoa Nelly! Where did the information come from? I hope Senator Risser holds a hearing to find out. This is nonsense. (Oh, yes, a mistake on my part. I told the WSJ reporter that I am not an AT&T customer. I was wrong. We are dropping AT&T but we are still customers. Not for long!)
Hillary and Bill: If she doesn't win the nomination I suspect the pundits will look back on her decision to bring Bill into her campaign in Iowa. Maureen Dowd reminds us, as only she can, that while Mrs. Clinton was condemning the commutation of Scooter Libby's sentence because "Bush has elevated cronyism over the rule of law" sitting on stage was Bill, who pardoned Marc Rich, the fugitive tax-evader and former husband of Bill's fundraiser. Who was the lawyer for Rich? "Could it get any worse?" Scooter Libby. Yikes!
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