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GLAAD Leaders Pay Price For Shilling For AT&T
Top Boss Forced to Resign, AT&T Lobbyist On Board Being Pressured
by Karl Bode 08:34AM Monday Jun 20 2011 Tipped by Paul in SF See Profile
As we noted last week, AT&T is using thousands of organizations to parrot support for their planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile. A political tactic for years aimed at creating the illusion of broad support for usually anti-consumer policies, such groups usually have no problem selling both their group reputation and constituent interests downstream by repeating talking points -- to keep AT&T donations coming. For the first time that we can remember, there has been a price paid for selling your constituents out for a buck. The head of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has been forced to resign, and a former AT&T lobbyist on the board is also being pressured because of AT&T shilling:
Following the resignation of Jarrett Barrios as president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation on Saturday, gay activists are calling for reassessment of the group’s policies and for more heads to roll over its backing of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile. . . Influential members of the gay community say they believe Barrios’s resignation is a positive for GLAAD, but that the organization may need to further clean house and revisit its advocacy for causes unrelated to gay rights.

Aravosis called for the resignation of another GLAAD board member, Troup Coronado, a former AT&T official and lobbyist. Coronado’s bio on GLAAD’s website said that from 2008 to 2010 Coronado worked as AT&T’s vice president for external affairs in Los Angeles. AT&T had identified Coronado as a lobbyist for the company as recently as 2006, but the company said in its 2008 filing that he was no longer representing AT&T as a lobbyist.
As we've noted, we've been watching this sort of stuff for years, with constituents usually utterly oblivious to the fact that a group that's supposed to be representing their interests -- is instead busy supporting incumbent telco policies that are almost always anti-consumer in nature. AT&T's heavy-handed tactics in trying to get the T-Mobile deal acquired is pretty clearly educating many people to a tactic that had usually only existed on the periphery of public awareness.

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