US Congress has accepted $101 million from big telecom so far

Sometimes it feels like politics is a rigged game. Scratch that—most of the time it feels that way. What it all boils down to is money, under the veil of civic service, at least if taking a cynical approach. It can be tough not to. Case in point, The Verge posted a rundown of how much money the ISP industry has given to US lawmakers over the years. In total, companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon have collectively donated $101 million to sitting members of Congress and their leadership PACs, between 1989 and 2017.

Granted, that's a long period of time—nearly three decades—but it underscores how money drives policy. While not directly related to gaming, it's interesting to see where ISPs are focusing their donations, especially in light of the net neutrality debate.

So, where has the money gone so far? Breaking it down by party, telecoms have donated $55.8 million to Republicans, $45 million to Democrats, and the rest to Independents.

The companies we mentioned above were not pulled out of a hat, they are the three biggest contributors. AT&T leads the way with $19.8 million, followed by Comcast at $14.9 million and Verizon at $11.2 million in donations this year.

What's more, all 535 members of Congress have received donations from the ISP industry. Senator John McCain (R. AZ), one of the longest serving members of Congress, leads the way with more than $2.5 million. He is one of 11 members of Congress in seven-figure territory, with a handful of others not far behind that threshold.

What does all that money do? The funds allow companies to "influence" law makers so that any legislative decisions are in the favor of the companies providing the "donations."

Check out the full breakdown here.

Paul Lilly

Paul has been playing PC games and raking his knuckles on computer hardware since the Commodore 64. He does not have any tattoos, but thinks it would be cool to get one that reads LOAD"*",8,1. In his off time, he rides motorcycles and wrestles alligators (only one of those is true).