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19 August 2017

California Wireless Legislation: Paid for by AT&T Et Al.

This is a picture of the principal coauthor, Assembly
Member Quirk getting a half million-dollar check for
a project in his area from AT&T.
California Wireless Legislation: Paid for by AT&T Et Al.
by Bruce Kushnick, Contributor / Executive Director, The Huffington Post, 16 May 2017

There is a proposed piece of legislation in California for the deployment of lots of small wireless cell antennas, and this is also happening simultaneously in other states, Congress and at the FCC. And, wouldn’t you know it; those who benefit the most from these state and federal gifts are AT&T et al., the companies who are also funding and engineering these campaigns. In fact, these state bills appear to be based on ‘model legislation’ that was created by the Wireless Infrastructure Association, WIA and by ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Counsel.

The California Senate Bill, No. 649, would essentially allow companies to not have to bother with any of those pesky local zoning laws.

RCRWireless News states:

“In California, Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) introduced a bill that would specifically exempt small cells from local zoning review. Sen. Hueso’s bill states ‘the impact on local interests from individual small wireless facilities will be sufficiently minor and that such deployments should be a permitted use statewide and should not be subject to discretionary zoning review’.”

AT&T: A Little Help from Their Friends
And here is a picture of the main sponsor, State Senator Ben Hueso, holding a check for $25,000 that is from AT&T and it goes to a group in his district, San Diego, California.

(Parent Institute for Quality Education received a $25,000 check from AT&T. Regional Vice President of External Affairs Ignacio De La Torre and Area Manager of External Affairs Christine Moore along with California State Senator Ben Hueso (second from the left), made the presentation on Oct. 23, 2015.)

And this is a picture of the principal coauthor, Assembly Member Quirk getting a $1/2 million check for a project in his area from AT&T. (On the right.)

And when we checked, we found other donations by AT&T and the press releases quoting State Senator Ben Hueso.

“’Digital literacy is critical not only to California’s economy, but to the personal and professional development of all Californians,’ said California State Senator Ben Hueso. ‘AT&T is educating all walks of life through its Digital You technology training workshops. I am excited to be part of this event and see our residents learn the skills, knowledge and principles of computer devices and networks that will help them successfully navigate through the digital world’.”

These foundation grants have been traditionally given to make the politicians look good in their districts and, in exchange, when the companies want them to place legislation into the hopper, and they are in a strategic position to make that happen, they are rewarded.

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