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AT&T, Tallahassee Mayor Under Fire For Being Too Cozy
On AT&T Payroll Since 1990, Mayor Plays Dumb About Conflict of Interest
by Karl Bode 10:27AM Friday Sep 23 2011
If AT&T's attempt to acquire T-Mobile has done anything, it has shown a very bright light on the company's sophisticated political machinery, including using minority, disability and other groups to parrot company positions in exchange for donations. On the heels of criticism for using GLAAD as a personal political plaything, AT&T and Tallahassee Mayor John Marks are under fire for being just a bit too cozy. The Tallahassee Democrat broke the story that Marks directed $1.6 million in Federal funding to a group dubbed the the Alliance for Digital Equality, purportedly to help expand Internet access to the urban poor.

Except as the (sadly paywalled, though Stop The Cap has a good breakdown) paper uncovered, the Alliance for Digital Equality is simply a front group entirely funded by AT&T, exists and uses its funds simply to lobby for AT&T, and did little to nothing to actually help the disadvantaged. According to the paper, Marks has been on AT&T's payroll since 1990, and now faces inquiries by both the Florida Commission on Ethics and the FBI:
quote:
Marks also didn't mention when he brought ADE to the City Commission in September 2010 that AT&T has been paying him since the early 1990s as a lawyer and consultant...Marks was a paid member of ADE's board of advisers, a group of up to 25 people expected to facilitate "access to key decision-makers in both the public and private sectors" but without governing authority over the group. Marks earlier this year said he "made a mistake" when he voted Sept. 15, 2010, for the grant. The vote is the subject of a conflict-of-interest complaint before the Florida Commission on Ethics. The FBI subpoenaed emails between the city and ADE but won't reveal details of any investigation.
The Alliance for Digital Equality is just one of many organizations created by AT&T to parrot their positions, creating the illusion of broad support for policies that often have negative impacts on both the market and consumers. You'll frequently find Alliance representatives in major papers fighting against network neutrality or offering breathless support for the AT&T T-Mobile merger. As for Marks, he insists he had no idea that ADE was 99% funded by AT&T despite serving on the organization's board.

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DrZEUS

join:2004-01-13
Mississauga, ON

1 recommendation

corruption

all I can say is wow...how do these things go unabated?
megatron266
Premium
join:2007-08-11
Miami, FL

Re: corruption

Very easy buddy...Everybody turns a blind eye because they either benefit from it or simply don't care. Unfortunately those that benefit are mostly those that can do anything about it.

This new does not surprise me one bit. I'm sure if more digging it would be found that mostly all politicians are tied to corporations one way or another by means of cash flow.
sparc

join:2006-05-06

Re: corruption

exactly, the poor people who this was supposed to help aren't going to able to launch investigations into corruption in government. As long as everyone gets their paycheck/kickbacks/bribes, nobody else asks questions.
sonicmerlin

join:2009-05-24
Cleveland, OH
kudos:1

Re: corruption

said by sparc:

exactly, the poor people who this was supposed to help aren't going to able to launch investigations into corruption in government. As long as everyone gets their paycheck/kickbacks/bribes, nobody else asks questions.

Let's be honest though- these are the same poor people who voted for the likes of George Bush Jr..

Mike
Premium,Mod
join:2000-09-17
Pittsburgh, PA
kudos:1
hang em

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

1 recommendation

Re: corruption

said by Mike:

hang em

..by the legs and have everyone in Tallahassee beat him like a piñata.
firedrakes

join:2009-01-29
Arcadia, FL
finale . to late sadly for people and money he moved around could have been used for good

SlickEnW
Premium
join:2003-01-21
Seattle, WA

Quick, hurry

Somebody get this guy a twix

bbrkdub

join:2001-10-03
Houston, TX
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: Quick, hurry

said by SlickEnW:

Somebody get this guy a twix

...or a SWA ticket...

Wanna get away?
--
Hope this helps...

suzy

@comcast.net

At&t payoffs again and again owns the usa now

soon we will be called AT&T land of corp greed and here you new monthy rates instead of America land of the free.
tpkatl

join:2009-11-16
Dacula, GA

AT&T in cahoots!! Say it ain't so!

AT&T buying politicians? Please, tell me that it isn't true!! They would never do that! After all, the have such a pristine history of caring and selfless service to the American people!

They would never, ever do anything dishonest or disreputable, would they?

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Idiot?

"As for Marks, he insists he had no idea that ADE was 99% funded by AT&T despite serving on the organization's board."

Is this guy really that dumb? I would think if a large amount of grants/money goes to a particular company, I'd be a little curious.. That way it doesn't bite me in the ass later on.
tdar

join:2004-04-05
Satellite Beach, FL
kudos:1

Re: Idiot?

It's funny how the checks can make you so blind....I guess it's because your eyes are focused on all of those zeros!

jslik
That just happened
Premium
join:2006-03-17

What part

What part of the saying "Follow the money" did this guy not understand? How clueless can you be?
--
If they told you wolverines make good house pets, would you believe them?
ackman

join:2000-10-04
Atlanta, GA

Da money...

AT&T never met a politician they couldn't buy.

franknalco

join:2005-01-27
Littleton, CO

1 recommendation

What about the Feds?

If an audit of ADE's books shows that it is spending $4 out of $5 on marketing, why the heck is the Federal Government giving it any money in first place? Do they just blindly do whatever the cheeseburglar Mayor of Tallahassee says to do? I am all for stringing up the Mayor, but where is federal governments responsibility to spend our money wisely? It just seems to me that at every level, there is absolutely no accountability. Everyone involved in this fiasco needs to have a nice jail cell to live in for a while, including the management of ATT and federal minions that approved this funding.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

1 recommendation

Re: What about the Feds?

said by franknalco:

I am all for stringing up the Mayor, but where is federal governments responsibility to spend our money wisely? It just seems to me that at every level, there is absolutely no accountability.

Wow.. You expect the government to do all of that? Especially these parts:

"governments responsibility"
Ya, right. They're too busy worrying about next year's election and how to kick Obama out of office. They don't really give a sh*t about the economy.

"spend our money wisely"
Um.. You honestly expect them to do this? Look at their track record.

"no accountability"
Just how they like it.
--
Bresnan 30M/5M
MyWS[i7-870@4.1G,16G RAM,2x1T HDDs,Win7]
WifeWS[A64@2G,2G RAM,120G HDD,Win7]
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cork1958
Cork
Premium
join:2000-02-26

Re: What about the Feds?

said by Simba7:

said by franknalco:

I am all for stringing up the Mayor, but where is federal governments responsibility to spend our money wisely? It just seems to me that at every level, there is absolutely no accountability.

Wow.. You expect the government to do all of that? Especially these parts:

"governments responsibility"
Ya, right. They're too busy worrying about next year's election and how to kick Obama out of office. They don't really give a sh*t about the economy.

"spend our money wisely"
Um.. You honestly expect them to do this? Look at their track record.

"no accountability"
Just how they like it.

+1
--
The Firefox alternative.
»www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/

Namuna

@ms.com

Poetic justice at work

I'm loving the poetic justice of the more AT&T is trying to get their propaganda pushed, the more they keep outing their own moles and inside people!

Hey AT&T, keep telling your "parrots" to speak up, it's working great!
GraysonPeddi
Grayson Peddie

join:2010-06-28
Tallahassee, FL

Disability Group in Tallahassee?

What are they thinking?

(I live in Tallahassee, FL, by the way.)

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: Disability Group in Tallahassee?

How in the hell did a Democrat get elected to office in the Panhlandle of Florida? That's GOP territory.
GraysonPeddi
Grayson Peddie

join:2010-06-28
Tallahassee, FL

Re: Disability Group in Tallahassee?

Know what, I do support Democrats. I'm not a fan of Republicans.
pkorx8

join:2003-06-19
San Francisco, CA

Corruption in the US...

And how does corruption in the US differ from corruption in Arab Spring countries, china, afghanistan, iraq?

Answer:
In the US, corporations like ATT has more power than the governmental institutions...

Happy Friday!!!!!
old_wiz_60

join:2005-06-03
Bedford, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: Corruption in the US...

Corporations and things like the RIAA own the government institutions anyway. DOJ - has become an enforcement agency for the RIAA/MPAA

People don't care about corruption anyway. Are there any honest Congressmen? Of course not. Are there any honest elected politicians above the smallest local level? HAHA. Corruption is deeply rooted into the American political system anyway. For example, look at the Congressmen who signed a letter supporting the AT&T merger - every single one of them got a fair amount of money from AT&T. The only difference is that in the U.S. we don't call it bribery.

So the mayor is being paid under the counter by AT&T? The only unusual thing I see about it is that someone actually found out. What will happen? nothing.
rm3sweet

join:2006-02-02
Columbus, OH

Enabler

Strange that everyone seems pre-occupied by the company involved and relatively quiet about this corrupt Mayor. ATT at fault? yes, but Mayor deserves to be run out of town. He is nothing but an enabler!

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Old(er) news

Here is an article from the end of MARCH that raises the foundation of many of the questions currently being asked. Any the mayor is STILL playing dumb?