Silly Telecoms, You Can't Bribe A Plutocrat!

What's this?  The telegraph people want to give us money?  How smashing!

Did you know that sometimes a Senator votes in favor of laws favored by people who give him money? Heavens! We're just as shocked as you, naturally. The latest evidence of this foul practice come from the rolling hills of West Virginia ... or, well, we guess, from the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., where Senator Jay Rockefeller, who theoretically represents America's hillbilliest state, is pushing to give telecom companies immunity from lawsuits arising from that whole awkward illegal spying on Americans thing. Also, in a totally unrelated story, executives and lawyers who work for AT&T and Verizon gave Rockefeller ten times as much money this year as they did in the four previous years combined! Most of the cash came in at big money-giving parties the selfless corporations threw for the senator in New York and San Antonio (two cities that are not in West Virginia).

You probably think that there is some sort of correlation between these facts, and that makes you a cynic and a bad person. You're overlooking the obvious: Jay Rockefeller is too rich to bribe! That's right, he's one of those Rockefellers. "You're not going to buy a Rockefeller," sneers Matt Bennett, vice president for Third Way, a Democratic policy group. And, hell, he may have a point: what with Rockefeller owning chamberful after chamberful of gold dubloons hidden beneath his mountain stronghold in West Virginia, and with $3.1 million in campaign funds on hand and no opponents of note, he may not have even noticed the pathetic five-figure sum the telecom muckamucks threw his way. He probably left it all in the pocket of his hand-tailored solid gold suit when he sent it out for cleaning.

Other slightly less well-heeled politicians were also on the receiving end of sweet, sweet communications industry cash; for instance, after John McCain received a contribution from the two companies, he waved the check in the air, ran around in a circle, and shouted "Yipee! Biscuits for dinner tonight, fellas!"

Companies Seeking Immunity Donate To Senator [NYT]


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