S.A. Express News: SBC Swarm

Earlier this week I posted a blog entry about the strength of lobbyists in the Texas capital. I also implied a connection to the Telecom Deregulation bill that passed during last year's "school finance" special session.

Turns out the San Antonio Express News followed up the next day with the explicit point that SBC more or less bought their way into telecom reform. The article discusses how SBC (now AT&T) swarmed the capitol and got their way.

During the 2005 session, AT&T spent more than any other San Antonio-based entity to lobby state lawmakers. It dished out between $3.4 million and $7 million on contracts with 112 lobbyists, according to Texas Ethics Commission records.

There are 31 members of the Texas Senate and 150 of the House of Representatives, meaning lobbyists for AT&T and other SB 5 supporters — among them, fellow telecom Verizon Communications — nearly had a one-to-one ratio with legislators.

The thing is, it doesn't stop in Texas. AT&T is now going to the other statehouses and the federal government saying, "Look what Texas has done." That's a heck of a lot of bang for their lobbying investement.

The full article is here.