McCain & The Telecoms

Last week the FCC unanimously voted in favor of Net Neutrality, and the moment it was passed John McCain took up the opposition side with gusto. Why Mr. McCain — admittedly a tech novice — decided to take up the mantle of big business in this argument over the internet seems a mystery. The blogosphere asked Why? as the senator penned an act to curb the FCC’s action, and just in case McCain misses it on the web, it’s all over 24-hour news, too. Rachel Maddow takes a look.


McCain, also a champion of campaign finance reform, collects checks from the telecom industry more than any other U.S. Senator, over $600,000 since 1989. His 2008 Presidential campaign was chock-full of telecom lobbyists including veterans of Verizon and AT&T.

People who lobbied for telecom companies on those issues include McCain’s campaign manager, his deputy manager, his finance chief, his top unpaid political adviser and his Senate chief of staff. Telecom companies have paid the lobbying firms that employed those top five McCain advisers more than $4.4 million since 1999, lobbying records show.

Verizon and AT&T even provided free cell phone towers for McCain’s Arizona ranch.  Records show that the cost of such construction would have been around $22,000. But a maverick’s gotta do what a maverick’s gotta do. In this case, perhaps that’s be mavericky.

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