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October 23, 2007
Companies Seeking Immunity Donate to Senator

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22 — Executives at the two biggest phone companies contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping.

The surge in contributions came from a Who’s Who of executives at the companies, AT&T and Verizon, starting with the chief executives and including at least 50 executives and lawyers at the two utilities, according to campaign finance reports.

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The money came primarily from a fund-raiser that Verizon held for Mr. Rockefeller in March in New York and another that AT&T sponsored for him in May in San Antonio.

Mr. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, emerged last week as the most important supporter of immunity in devising a compromise plan with Senate Republicans and the Bush administration.

A measure approved by the intelligence panel on Thursday would add restrictions on the eavesdropping and extend retroactive immunity to carriers that participated in it. President Bush secretly approved the program after the Sept. 11 attacks.

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Mr. Rockefeller’s office said Monday that the sharp increases in contributions from the telecommunications executives had no influence on his support for the immunity provision.



There goes the last argument about separating money and influence. You don't get much wealthier than the great-grandson of John D. and he's still a pimp for money. What's the charge for getting Rockefeller in bed?

A chickenshit 42 grand.

This makes me as angry as anything I have read in this past over-angering year of politics. The scion of one of the nation's wealthiest families guttered in the payoff trough with the likes of Randy Cunningham and Jack Abramoff. Never enough, is there John?
Then John D's outrageously unapologetic office staff offers the 'stick-it-in-your-ear' offense to human intelligence that 'the sharp increases in contributions from the telecommunications executives had no influence on his support.'

Larry Craig is being literally as well as figuratively stripped of honor over his ridiculous overture in a men's room, while John D. Rockefeller, IV sells out his constituency for however many pieces of silver $42 grand amounts to.

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The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee insults the intelligence of the American people by whoring his office to the highest bidder. "The hundred bucks you left on the nightstand had no influence on the quality of the sex, honey."

John, you are a thief of the people's trust--there is no other word for it.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Washington at Work, check out


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Jim Freeman's op-ed pieces and commentaries have appeared in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, International Herald-Tribune, CNN, The New York Review, The Jon Stewart Daily Show and a number of magazines. His thirteen published books are (more...)

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