Our chapter on interest groups discusses corporate philanthropy as a form of political influence: "Charitable contributions also create potential allies. When a group receives money, its members are more likely to side with their benefactor in political disputes. At least, it will probably refrain from boycotts and public demonstrations" (p. 287). Politico supplies a fresh example:
AT&T is lining up support for its acquisition of T-Mobile from a slew of liberal groups with no obvious interest in telecom deals — except that they’ve received big piles of AT&T’s cash.
The foundation of the National Education Association — the nation’s largest teachers union — received a $75,000 grant from the AT&T Foundation last year, the foundation’s IRS filing shows. On Tuesday, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel issued a statement in support of the telecom merger. “Students who do not have access to high-speed Internet are disadvantaged in preparing for the 21st century workforce,” he said. “This merger will have positive and long-lasting effects, and America’s students will be among the biggest winners.”