AT&T Spent $5.2 million on lobbying in the First Quarter of 2008
The Associated Press is reporting that AT&T, the defendant in EFF's NSA surveillance litigation, "spent $5.2 million in the first quarter to lobby on domestic spying legislation and other issues." To put this into perspective, AT&T's spending for three months on lobbying alone is significantly more than the entire EFF budget for a whole year, from attorneys to sysadmins, pencils to bandwidth. For 2007, AT&T spent over $16 million on lobbying.
So what does over $5 million buy you? While AT&T's powerhouse FISA lobbyist Charlie Black left his firm BKSH & Associates [1Q 2008 Disclosure Form] to become Senator John McCain's chief campaign strategist, AT&T now has former United States Senators Trent Lott and John Breaux (the Breaux-Lott Leadership Group) [Lobbying Registration] to pull in the slack. The Center for Responsive Politics has the full list.