The revolving door is alive and well when it comes to lobbyists working on telecom issues. The Sunlight Foundation identified 276 former government officials, including 18 members of Congress, who are lobbying on behalf of major telecommunication firms. 276:
As leaders in Congress announced a series of hearings this June to tackle huge telecommunications issues with a focus on the Internet, the top phone and cable organizations that control the majority of the access to the Internet have hired 276 former government officials to lobby both the Congress and the executive branch.
According to data obtained from lobbyist disclosure forms and the Center for Responsive Politics, seventy-two percent of the lobbyists hired by AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the US Telecom Association have previous government experience. These organizations combined to spend $20.6 million lobbying the federal government in the first quarter of 2010.
Eighteen of the 276 revolving door lobbyists are former members of Congress. These include the powerful former senators John Breaux and Trent Lott. The Breaux Lott Leadership Group reported spending $150,000 lobbying on behalf of AT&T in the first quarter of 2010.