AT&T Supports Right-Wing Causes. Here are 10 Reasons to Drop Them Right Now
For years, AT&T has cozied up to Republican lawmakers, curried favor with Donald Trump and his administration, and donated millions to right-wing politicians and causes. And now it seems AT&T still can’t keep their hands out of the Republican cookie jar.
New reporting from Judd Legum at Popular Information found that while AT&T publicly claims it supports Black Lives Matter, the company has quietly funded the campaign of Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, who adamantly opposes the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it violent, destructive and anti-Semitic. It probably also goes without saying that Loeffler is staunchly pro-life, pro-gun and anti-LGBTQ, but that didn’t seem to deter AT&T’s donation to her campaign.
It’s not surprising that AT&T would jump on the public relations bandwagon to boost its image during nationwide protests for Black lives, while continuing to privately support Republican politicians who oppose racial justice.
Here are 9 other reasons you should drop AT&T if you don’t want your mobile bill supporting right-wing causes.
AT&T supports the campaign of Ted Yoho, who called AOC a “f*cking b*tch”
Last month, Republican Rep. Ted Yoho accosted progressive Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, calling her disgusting and a “f*cking b*itch” while wagging his finger and denigrating her in public, first reported by The Hill newspaper, then additionally by CNN.
AT&T has donated $20,000 to Ted Yoho’s campaign.
While Yoho offered a non-apology, ridiculously claiming “I cannot apologize for my passion,” AOC countered with an incredible speech on the House floor, condemning Yoho and the pervasive sexism women are forced to endure. You can watch it here:
AT&T donated $2 million to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee
Donald Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee raised a lot of money. A record-setting $107 million, in fact. The more than $2 million that AT&T funnelled to Trump stood above the pack: AT&T was the largest corporate donor to the inauguration, and second only to notorious right-wing funder Sheldon Adelson.
In late 2018, it was reported that federal prosecutors were investigating the sources of Trump’s inauguration slush fund to determine if any donors illegally “[gave] money in exchange for political favors.” At the time, AT&T had been seeking approval for a $85.4 billion acquisition of Time Warner.
AT&T donated $2.7 million to 193 anti-LGBTQ politicians
AT&T can rainbow-stripe its logo for Pride Month, wave the rainbow flag and claim it supports the LGBTQ community, but none of those things can make up for the fact that AT&T is directly funding politicians who are fighting against equality and LGBTQ rights.
While AT&T has long touted its inclusive employee policies and support of LGBTQ causes, in 2017 and 2018, AT&T donated a total of $2.755 million to 193 anti-LGBTQ politicians.
AT&T is making millions from Trump’s racist deportation agenda
As Donald Trump ramps up his attacks on immigrant communities, corporate America is cashing in. Well-known consumer brands are profiting from lucrative contracts with Customs and Border Protection, the agency dehumanizing immigrants, jailing children in cages without basic needs and tearing families apart.
AT&T made more than $1.8 million from CBP’s deportation agenda, including $1.3 million since Donald Trump took office.
AT&T fired workers after raking in billions from Trump’s tax scam
In 2017, AT&T promised it would invest $1 billion in telecom infrastructure and create “7,000 good jobs for the middle class” if Congress passed Trump’s tax scam and slashed tax rates for corporate America.
Instead, AT&T laid off 23,000 workers, cut capital spending and pocketed $3 billion in a massive tax windfall. Their CEO even took home $29 million in total compensation as his employees received pink slips.
AT&T helped re-elect white supremacist Congressman Steve King
Congressman Steve King is a racist and white supremacist. He publicly courts favor with right-wing extremists, believes immigrants are “undermining our culture” and keeps a confederate flag on his desk.
Yet, AT&T has been one of Steve King’s largest corporate donors. Over his long, racist career, King received more than $60,000 from AT&T, including $10,000 – the legal maximum limit – for his 2018 re-election campaign.
AT&T donated nearly $200,000 to anti-abortion politicians
According to the company’s career website, AT&T claims that it wants to “make sure women at AT&T feel supported in everything they do.”
Yet, as right-wing lawmakers across the country continue to enact some of the most restrictive laws on reproductive rights, AT&T has donated almost $200,000 to politicians in states leading the fight to ban abortions and restrict women’s rights.
AT&T paid Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s fixer, $600,000
In 2017 and 2018, AT&T paid $600,000 to Trump’s convicted lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to “advise” on various matters in the telecommunications industry – even though Cohen is not an expert in the field.
The timing of the payments to Cohen through a shady shell corporation raises serious questions about AT&T’s intentions to influence the Trump administration. Not only was AT&T’s proposed mega-merger with Time Warner pending before the Department of Justice, but AT&T also made payments to Cohen just as Trump’s hand-picked FCC chairman Ajit Pai pushed through the repeal of net neutrality regulations despite massive public outcry.
AT&T is one of the NSA’s “most trusted partners”
We’ve known for a while that AT&T was working hand-in-hand with the NSA to spy on Americans’ internet traffic. But an investigative report by the Intercept revealed eight cities where AT&T hosts “wiretap rooms” for the NSA to skim data as it passes through their networking equipment.
The Intercept report confirms what we already knew: the NSA “considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s ‘extreme willingness to help.’”
Unlike AT&T, we will never compromise our progressive values for profit. We will never align ourselves with right-wing hate. We will never fund white supremacy. We’re not spending millions to influence Republican lawmakers or making massive donations to Donald Trump.
In contrast, we’re helping to fund the progressive movement through our philanthropy powered by our members who use our products and services every day. We donate nearly $2 million each year to groups like Color of Change, the ACLU, Doctors without Borders and 350.org who are fighting for Black lives and civil rights, peace, climate justice and more.
If you’re not already a CREDO member and would like to switch to the mobile company that shares your values and donates to progressive groups every month, please check out CREDO Mobile here.