Friday, October 26, 2012

The CREDO alternative?

Funny. I continually get mailings from a company called CREDO Mobile asking me to switch from AT&T over to their company, which claims to be politically progressive. CREDO (formerly known as Working Assets), claims to contribute heavily to groups like Planned Parenthood, United for a Fair Economy, Earthjustice and the ACLU. Credo Mobile is basically a re-seller, wholesaling bandwidth from Sprint and then repackage it as their own.

I have no love from AT&T and would gladly dump them for a viable alternative, and not just for political reasons. Their rates are outlandish and their coverage, even in certain Chicago neighborhoods is weak. So I was ready to make the move, especially after reading CREDOs latest mailer denouncing AT&T for contributing to the Romney campaign.

In fact, says the letter from CREDO President Michael Kieschnick,
AT&T "contributed to his [Romney's] campaign -- making this the fifth straight presidential election where they've supported only the Republican nominee."
But before switching, I decided to check. The only thing worse to me than AT&T would be some corporate hustler trying to pimp off the progressive movement through deceit. I'm not saying that about CREDO.

I know that AT&T has no love for the Obama administration. You see AT&T Inc. Chairman Randall Stephenson lost $2.08 million in bonus pay after Democrats killed his bid to build the biggest mobile provider. Six weeks after the deal for T-Mobile USA collapsed, he made his largest campaign donation in more than two decades of giving to Republicans. Stephenson’s personal $30,800 contribution to the Republican National Committee punctuated months of sniping between the biggest U.S. telephone company and the Democratic-controlled Federal Communications Commission.

Sixty-five percent of donations from AT&T employees and their families are going to Republicans for the 2012 elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That’s up from 55 percent in 2010, when the Democrats were in charge of both houses of Congress and the presidency, and is the highest percentage since the center began keeping records in 1990. Republicans got 63 percent of the AT&T donations when they controlled the White House and Congress in 2006.

But OpenSecrets.Org  carries an organization profile of AT&T Inc. on their website showing a list of their corporate political contributions. Here it is.

 Top Candidate Recipients, 2011-2012 (Source: Center for Responsive Politics)
Barack Obama (D) $138,641
John Boehner (R-OH) $103,450
Mitt Romney (R) $47,269
Thomas C. Leppert (R-TX) $35,200
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) $29,250

As you can see, not only is Romney not the only beneficiary of AT&T corporate generosity, he ranks only third behind Obama and Boehner. Even with the bad blood from the FCC fallout, the company still hedges its election bets and contributes heavily to both campaigns. I put all this information in a missive to Mr. Kieschnick and asked for a reply. I will let you know what I come up with.

Open Secrets had lots of other good information about creepy AT&T. Here's an interesting tidbit:
57 out of 84 AT&T lobbyists in 2012 have previously held government jobs
There's also a list of the 49 members of Congress who own stock in the company.

And there's more from Fast Company including that AT&T has donated $377,500 to members of the House Tea Party Caucus.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Michael,

    Thanks for writing to us. We source most of our federal campaign contribution information directly from the website of the Federal Election Commission (FEC). reports contributions made by individual employees of AT&T. But AT&T’s corporate PAC has donated only to Romney, and nothing to Obama. In fact, AT&T has donated only to the Republican nominee in the past 5 presidential elections.

    If you’d like to confirm the contributions that were mentioned, or check contributions made by others, please visit the FEC website at The “Campaign Finance Reports and Data” link on the left will give you a range of search options. You can search for contributions to a particular candidate by election year, or you can search for the total contributions by a particular Political Action Committee (PAC).

    Thanks again for your email. We hope you will consider making the switch!


    Customer Relations
    CREDO Mobile


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.