15 U.S. Reps Sign Letter Demanding Obama Support ATandT, T-Mobile Deal
News Analysis: Democratic Congressman and former Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler returns the favor to major contributor AT&T by sending a letter signed by 14 fellow representatives to President Obama demanding he order the U.S. Department of Justice to "settle" the antitrust suit.WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) sent a letter with 14 Congressional co-signers to President Barack Obama Sept. 15 demanding that he order regulators to settle the antitrust lawsuit that seeks to prevent the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. The letter, drawn completely from AT&T's playbook, parrots the claims that the merger would create jobs and expand high-speed wireless Internet access. Notably, AT&T was one of Shuler's top five contributors during the last two election cycles, donating at least $27,000 to Shuler's private political action committee (PAC), "3rd and Long," according to contribution reporting service, OpenSecrets.org.
Shuler, a one-time quarterback for the Washington Redskins, has been trying to make a name for himself as the new leader of what is referred to by some journalists and Washington insiders as the "Bluedog" Democrats. Shuler has been courting labor unions and large corporate sponsors to make this happen. One of the primary supporters of the merger is the Communications Workers of America (CWA). While the CWA is not one of Shuler's largest contributors, the union has officially endorsed his re-election and has sponsored "get out the vote" campaigns on his behalf.