Tuesday, April 13, 2010

CREDO Mobile

I'm on a lot of mailing lists for assorted Democratic groups, and though I dislike most of the propaganda I get, I find it useful to see what Democrats want me to think. One of the groups is Democrats.com, which today sent me a mailing which was simply an advertisement for CREDO Mobile, billing itself as a mobile network alternative to AT&T, because AT&T donates to conservative candidates. Basically, it's the Move Your Money campaign for mobile phones... except it, itself, is the phone company you're supposed to move to.

Also, it says at the bottom, in tiny letters:

Sprint is the network provider only; your service is handled exclusively by CREDO Mobile, and all representations regarding issue advocacy, contributions and donations to nonprofits apply to CREDO Mobile only. Sprint is a trademark of Sprint Nextel.

Hrm. So basically you pay CREDO, and CREDO pays Sprint, who are your real carriers. They also make no guarantees about who the money they get from CREDO goes to. And a quick search shows that Sprint Nextel Corporation has donated to:
  • Roy Blunt (R,MO), a former Republican Party Leader (between DeLay and Boehner) and party whip;
  • Richard Burr (R,NC), who opposed Health Care after being #2 in recipients in the country from Health Insurance Companies;
  • Jim DeMint (R,SC) who wrote a book called Saving Freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism.
  • Joe Lieberman (I,CT) who is on the list of people CREDO Mobile accuses AT&T opposes.
  • Blanche Lincoln (D,LA) who we all remember from the shit list of Democratic Senators who nearly cost us Health Care.
  • John McCain (R,AZ) also on the list that CREDO Mobile calls out.
  • John Shadegg (R,AZ) who called the Public Option "full on Russian gulag, Soviet-style gulag health care" before saying "I would support single-payer" until someone told him what that meant.
  • John Thune (R,SD) who defeated Tom Daschle in 2004, saying "You know, the Second Amendment, gun owners' rights, abortion – those are not wedge issues in South Dakota" and blasting Tom Daschle for opposing a Federal Amendment banning gay marriage.
By the way, I'm being unfair to Sprint -- they also donated to Nancy Pelosi, Henry Waxman, Bart Stupak, Ike Skelton, Barbara Boxer, Clyburn and John Conyers; it looks as though their donations are not so much ideological as they are pro-Incumbent.

I don't know if Sprint dreamed up CREDO Mobile as a way to get gullible progressives to give them money instead of AT&T, or if CREDO Mobile are gullible saps that thought that giving Sprint money would be cleaner than giving Verizon or AT&T money.

I compared with AT&T's donation history, which is admittedly seemingly more right-wing (the only company of the three to donate to Michelle Bachmann, for instance), and with Verizon's. The case against AT&T is compelling, but the case against Verizon is silly. Verizon apparently donates $161,000 across the country, to small candidates of a number of political stripes. AT&T is more in the $2,000,000 range, which is significant money. But still, Sprint (between the two in donation amount) isn't exactly a left-wing saint.

It turns out that if you patronize a major corporation, there's a 2:1 chance some slim part of that money will go to a conservative loon candidate. Even Google gives to Eric Cantor, Mike Pence, Lamar Smith, John Thune, and James DeMint. Basing a business model on avoiding that eventuality reeks to me of opportunism.