Consumer Watchdog fights to make your voice heard by calling out dirty politicians and attacking the influence of the special interests that keep them in power. From Sacramento to Washington D.C., we follow the money trail from special interests to policymakers and track bad public policy back from politicians to their donors. Our web site CapitolWatchdog.org is dedicated to pulling the curtain back on corruption in California's state capitol. Our LA Watchdog project is now keeping watch on corruption in the City of Los Angeles's Department of Water & Power, Mayor's Office and City Council.
WASHINGTON — For years, the country’s biggest technology companies have been virtually untouchable in Washington. The public adored the companies’ new devices, educators embraced their tools and politicians extolled their contributions to the economy. Even traditionally powerful voices, like media and telecom businesses, found little success in criticizing the technology industry.
Perhaps some day, every well up in Aliso Canyon will sit empty and dry, with no trace— not one molecule— of natural gas left in the hills above Porter Ranch.
But a shadow of doubt and worry would likely still linger among the residents who live below.
AT&T barely outspent Google to be the third quarter's top telecom/tech spender on lobbying, shelling out $4.13 million, up 8% from Q3 2016, according to Consumer Watchdog's tracking of 16 communications companies.
The telco is trying to shepherd its Time Warner merger through Washington, though it has just extended the close on that deal as the Justice Department continues to vet it; the FCC is not separately reviewing the merger.
Corruption can kill.
The fires that laid waste to California’s Wine Country and at least 42 lives were not merely the product of a changing climate and extra-heated winds.
Early reports suggest the failure of Gov. Jerry Brown and his appointees to adequately regulate our public utilities to prevent such fires also fueled the fast-moving flames.
The deadliest wildfires in state history have raised questions about whether a repeat culprit might again be to blame for starting or spreading at least some of the Northern California blazes: utility companies and their equipment.
The explosive failure of power lines and other electrical equipment has regularly ranked among the top three singular sources of California wildfires for the last several years. In 2015, the last year of reported data, electrical power problems sparked the burning of 149,241 acres -- more than twice the amount from any other cause.