A new report from the “Center for Public Integrity” finds telecommunications companies are spending thousands of dollars to try to influence Iowa politicians. In 2004, telecommunications companies spent over four-hundred thousand dollars to lobby State of Iowa officials. U.S. Cellular spent the most, followed by other well-known names like Qwest, M-C-I, Mediacom, A-T-&-T, Sprint, and Verizon. In an interesting footnote, the Center for Public Integrity found the state-owned Iowa Communications Network spent over 35-hundred dollars to “lobby” legislators and other state officials. The people on the payroll of those telecommunications companies as well as the industry’s political action committees are making lots of campaign contributions, too. According to the report, the telecommunications industry gave over eight-hundred-thousand dollars to Iowa politicians running for statehouse jobs in the 2000, 2002 and 2004 elections. The Center for Public Integrity labels its report “Well-Connected in the States” and found telecommunications companies spent at least 77 million dollars over the past two years to lobby politicians in statehouses around the country.
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