Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 10:08am
PHONE COMPANIES SEEKING IMMUNITY DONATE TO ROCKEFELLER
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Eric Lichtblau & Scott Shane]
AT&T and Verizon executives contributed more than $42,000 in political donations to Sen John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV) this year while seeking his support for legal immunity for businesses participating in National Security Agency eavesdropping. The money came primarily from a fund-raiser that Verizon held for Sen Rockefeller in March in New York and another that AT&T sponsored for him in May in San Antonio. Sen Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, emerged last week as the most important supporter of immunity in devising a compromise plan with Senate Republicans and the Bush administration. A measure approved by the intelligence panel on Thursday would add restrictions on the eavesdropping and extend retroactive immunity to carriers that participated in it. President Bush secretly approved the program after the Sept. 11 attacks. Mr. Rockefeller’s office said Monday that the sharp increases in contributions from the telecommunications executives had no influence on his support for the immunity provision.
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