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AT&T Lobbyist Patton Boggs Fires 65
Saturday, 02 March 2013 02:34

Strom ThurmondFollowing the money is basic to understanding telco power. They are “Washington’s largest and most profitable lobby shop” but just took a huge layoff. 18 partners have been warned their contracts may not be renewed. Billings are down. AT&T reduced their registered lobbying payments from $20M in 2011 to $17M in 2012, but apparently did not cut Patton Boggs. That $17M to registered lobbyists is just a small fraction of the estimated $150M-$250M AT&T spends on political influence each year. For example, the $millions paid to Jim Cicconi are not filed under lobbying expenses. The $168K reported paid to House Leader Boehner is in a different accounting; the $millions in California also separate.

   Cicconi is a “by whatever means necessary” fighter and extraordinarily effective. A dozen Patton Boggs staffers worked for AT&T, including former Senators Trent Lott and John Breaux. The homophobic Lott, who left the Senate in disgrace after praising segregationist Strom Thurmond (pictured), drew $millions from the telcos while in office. Lott’s a Republican, but Randall’s minions have no compunction about paying Democrat Breaux as well. T has William Clyburn on the payroll as well, cousin to the FCC Commissioner as well as the House Minority Leader.

   Patton Boggs is “one of American Lawyer's "Top 100" U.S. law firms and is consistently ranked as the nation’s number-one lobbying firm by the National Journal, Roll Call, Influence and The Hill” according to their web site They do what it takes to win for their client. FT reports them deeply involved in a $85M fraud in Albania, for example. http://on.ft.com/XMGIdP

   PB even has a shortage in their PAC fund that pays politiicans. http://bit.ly/YRIcXu