As the new FISA bill—the one that grants retroactive immunity to wiretapping telcos—moves closer to a final vote in the Senate (and a threatened filibuster), Ars Technica looks at the money. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint donated double the amount to House Democrats who supported the bill than to those who opposed it. [Ars Technica]


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  1. axiomatic says:

    Out politicians are spineless “paid for” shills?!?!?! Say it isn’t so!!!!!

    (thanks for the info, I couldn’t resist the jab.)

  2. axiomatic says:


    (can’t type today….)

  3. Bladefist says:

    @axiomatic: Yes they ALL are. I’m curious if any of my good buddies care to respond to this.

  4. buckfutt says:

    Gee, where’s the rundown of the class-action trial lawyers who donated heavily to the other side? (Drumming fingers…)

  5. Annath says:

    Bleh, our government isn’t for the people anymore, it’s for who pays most. Sad really.

  6. Trai_Dep says:

    Keep in mind that:
    1) More Dems voted against it than for it.
    2) 99.5% of Republican House members voted for it. 99.5%
    3) A Republican President started the whole ball of wax rolling, pre-9/11 (so much for it being about “terrorists”, then promised a veto, making it even tougher to kill.

    These alone are so damning that I’m not going to bother to compare telecom support on a Dem/Repub basis, but color me surprised if it doesn’t fall under the same breakdown as Big Oil favoring the GOP: 70-80 of every industry dollar going to the Repubs.

    It’s still abysmal, though. The few Dems that voted for this should be kneecapped during the next primaries.

  7. Tmoney02 says:

    @Trai_Dep: but color me surprised if it doesn’t fall under the same breakdown as Big Oil favoring the GOP: 70-80 of every industry dollar going to the Repubs.

    To be fair, One should point out that big oil has noted the shift in the political winds and have upped their democratic contributions big time recently. I would expect the ratio you mention to continue to fall as Democrats pick up more seats in congress. Big oil may prefer republicans but they prefer those with the power the most.
    And as others have mentioned the Democrats aren’t much better than the republicans in listening to only those who pay them the most for the privilege.

  8. Kaisum says:

    Any form of handout to senators should be illegal. But then I guess that would just be fair.

    Rich people run this country. I really despise living here with all this underhanded bs constantly going on behind our backs. And the few people that do give a damn can’t do anything because everybody else is too goddamn busy making sure they can still watch TV in 2009. IDIOTS.

  9. crabbyman6 says:

    @Kaisum: I’m shocked at this comment! Don’t you care about Pyper(make sure that’s a “y”!) and Sadie? Since they no longer have cable, they’re stuck with OTA signals, what if their parents didn’t know to buy a converter box, what will they do then? Think of the children!

  10. Franklin Comes Alive! says:


    Thanks to Tim Johnson from IL, my former representative, the only Republican in the entire house that didn’t vote for this. At least he has apparently read both the bill and the constitution. That’s a lot more than most of congress can claim right now. I’m no (R) these days, but good for him.

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    @Tmoney02: Big Oil has changed their spending patterns, by nearly double!
    Umm, from $0.20 of every dollar the drop on pols to $0.30. The GOP still gets 70%. :)

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: That’s awesome that you have a Rep that uses common sense and keeps his ear to the ground. The good pols – even Republicans (gasp! :P) – should be recognized!

  12. stinerman says:

    There’s a correlation-causality problem here.

    Did congressmen vote for the new FISA bill because of campaign contributions from telcos or did telcos contribute to congressmen because they knew the congressmen would vote in the telcos’ interest?

    This is still an open question.

  13. nerevar says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!:

    Too bad Ron Paul didn’t make it to vote.


  14. asphix20 says:

    @Bladefist: Yes, and they will continue to do so until we have some drastic change in this country.

    I’m not sure what the solution would be, but from looking at what works (local government, our government when it was established) it seems the big problem is indeed the money.

    I motion to have political positions become unpaid. Moreso, these people should be required to have a normal job that benefits society. Beyond that, we should scrap one of our useless arms of the government and enstate one that monitors the financials and ethics of polititions. This way we only have people who care, or feel strongly enough to deal with the added work run for office.

    I mean, the current presidential candidates are govenors right? Who is doing their job while they spend millions of dollars campaigning? I wish I could go on a year long hiatus from my job in search for a promotion paid for by other people.

  15. crabbyman6 says:

    @asphix20: Let me be the first to say….wow.

  16. Tmoney02 says:

    @asphix20: I mean, the current presidential candidates are govenors right?

    uhhh…no, not right. They are both senators.

  17. Bladefist says:

    @asphix20: They are senators. And they are not doing their jobs right now, and did not do a good job before anyway.

    I think of government employees as civil servants. As such, I would like if their finances were public information. All of it. That will never happen, because they are the ones who would have to make it happen, and they will never incriminate themselves.

  18. axiomatic says:

    4 year term limits for both House and Senate would fix a great deal of this issue.

  19. crabbyman6 says:

    @Bladefist: HA, isn’t that the truth. Who would say “Gee, I think we should regulate ourselves and not give ourselves outrageous raises”? The government could definitely use more transparency, but as you say it’ll never happen since it would have to be self imposed and everyone(even you know who I’m sure) has something they’re not proud of.

  20. Bladefist says:

    @crabbyman6: Especially him

  21. eightfifteen says:

    The bill is written so poorly, it does keep the door open for telecoms to get charged criminally. So there is that

    No it wouldn’t. They would just cram more money in as fast as they could. The only answer is 100% public financing of elections. Completely eliminate corporate money.