Washington lobbyist, Sprint chairman host Blackburn fundraiser

Burb from Politico Influence, a daily Politico feature on lobbying in Washington:

The lobbyist David Carmen and Elizabeth Carmen will host a fundraiser for Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), who’s running for Senate, at their home in the Palisades neighborhood of Washington on Tuesday evening, according to an invitation obtained by PI. The twist: One of the co-hosts is Marcelo Claure, the new executive chairman of Sprint and the chief operating officer of SoftBank, which owns most of Sprint.

— Sprint, of course, announced last week that it’s pursuing a merger with T-Mobile, and Blackburn is the chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on communications and technology, which oversees the wireless industry. Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) wrote to House Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Blackburn last week to urge them to hold hearings on the proposed merger.

— Andrea Bozek, a spokeswoman for Blackburn’s campaign, confirmed that she planned to attend the fundraiser. “Congressman Blackburn takes her responsibilities on the House Energy and Commerce Committee very seriously,” Bozek wrote in email to PI. “Her only priority as a member of Congress is serving Tennessee families and doing what is in their best interest.” David Carmen declined to comment, as a did a spokesman for SoftBank and Sprint. If you’re interested in going to the fundraiser, it’ll set you back $1,000 to attend as an individual, $5,000 if you pay through your PAC and $10,000 to attend as a host, according to the invitation.

Update/note: The Tennessee Democratic party seized upon the Politico report for a quick bit of Blackburn-bashing in an email to media. Excerpt:

 “As she has done for a decade and a half, Marsha Blackburn continues to walk down K Street with her campaign moneybag open for lobbyists to shovel in contributions,” Mark Brown, Tennessee Democratic Party spokesperson, said. “She has consistently fought for the interests of her campaign contributors and worked against the best interests of everyday Tennesseans.”
Of course, Blackburn has a well-documented history of work on behalf of Big Telecom. For her Congressional career, she has taken over $800,000 in campaign contributions from the industry, including $105,500 in the first quarter of 2018:
o    Kevin Rhatigan, Executive at Comcast, $500
o    Clifford Riccio, VP of NCTA, $2,000
o    Samuel Lancaster, VP Gov’t Affairs at Comcast Corp. $1,000
o    Jack Keen, CEO of WNM Communications, $500
o    Robert Hale, CEO of Granite Telecommunications, $10,400 (page 179, request for reattribution submitted)
o    Robert Fisher, SVP of Verizon Federal Government Affairs, $1,000
o    James Dinnocenzo, VP Government Affairs of Comcast, $500
o    Kristine Dankenbrink, SVP Taxation at Comcast, $1,500
o    David Cohen, Executive Vice President at Comcast Corporation, $2,700
o    William Connors, President of Comcast NBC Universal, $2,500
o    Jot Carpenter, Telecomms Consultant at Carpenter Strategic Consulting (represents Telecomms industry), $1,000
o    Leroy Carlson, Chairman of US Cellular, $5,400
o    Wireless Infrastructure Association PAC, $2,000
o    United States Telecom Association PAC, $7,000
o    US Cellular, $9,000
o    T-Mobile PAC, $10,000
o    Thunderbolt PAC, $10,000
o    National Telecommunications Cooperative Association PAC, $2,500
o    CTIA-The Wireless Association PAC, $10,000
o    Centurylink Inc. Emplyoees PAC, $7,500
o    Cisco Systems, Inc Federal PAC, $5,000
o    AT&T Inc. Federal PAC, $10,000 (page 628)
o    Competitive Carriers Association PAC, $3,500
In return, she passed legislation allowing internet service providers to collect and sell consumer data and supported the overturning of the Federal Communication Commission’s Net Neutrality rules, among other actions.


5 Responses to Washington lobbyist, Sprint chairman host Blackburn fundraiser

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    Look how much money the TeleCom lobby donates to Marsha Blackburn.

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Yea it’s a damn shame that anyone who doesn’t have over $100 million net worth like Bredesen and ready access to plutocrats like himself decide to run for public office and have to go around raising money from people with an interest in giving them money. Marsha raises money in Washington among people with an interest in her work in Congress. Phil, despite his wealth, raises money among the most liberal Democratic fundraisers in Manhattan who are interested in moving this country to the left and seem to have no fear whatsoever about Bredesen’s much advertised “moderation.”

    There is much at stake in this contest between Blackburn and Bredesen and while where they are raising money is of some marginal interest let’s not let it distract us from fundamental question of who do we want to control the U. S. Senate.

  • Avatar
    Steve L. says:

    I donated to her campaign, too. Love the USA and my 2A rights. Guarding the borders and keeping illegals out is important to me. I do not like abortions and believe it stains the soul of this nation. Keeping taxes low and the government out of the bathrooms is a big deal to me. Will Bredesen represent me in those wants/needs? Congressman Blackburn says she will. I think I will vote for her.

  • Avatar
    Mary Wilson says:

    Well, Marsha was the advocate who promoted the Bush/Cheney WARS because back then she got support from the wars lobby. Then last year she was against raising the TN MINIMUM wage, especially for young single mothers. Her comment….”That would be like raising their allowance…they don’t need more money.” And her recent stand on fighting the drugs crisis was so confusing she had to write an OP ED piece…but it still made no sense…until we read the small print and learned she had ‘drug lobby’ friends!. And yes, after her performance in the HOUSE, where she did not work for our people, we surely do not want her to advance to the Senate !

  • Avatar
    Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    Folks here again Blackburn trying to buy the Senate race, How can YOU REPUBLICANS That Have any MORALS,ETHNICS WHICH most of YOU DON’T how can y’all VOTE For Blackburn. I am PRAYING FOR A DEPRESSION AND I GET TO SEE ALL RICH —- IN the SOUP LINE IN NASHVILLE, TN.

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