Report: Telecom Companies Gave More to Dems Who Switched on FISA

Telecommunications companies donated more money, on average, to Democrats who changed their minds last week and supported immunity for those companies' cooperation with administration wiretapping practices, a report by MAPLight.org finds.

Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T donated $8,359 on average, between January 2005 and March 2008, to 94 House Democrats who switched their stances and voted yes last week on the House's Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) overhaul bill.The same companies donated $4,987 on average to those who consistently opposed immunity and voted no, the study finds.

The House FISA bill would likely grant telecommunications companies legal immunity for complying with Bush administration wiretapping practices after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The 94 Democrats flagged by MAPLight.org as flip-floppers had previously supported a March 14 bill that would not grant immunity, according to the group. The study finds that 88 percent of those Democrats received PAC money from the three companies since 2005.

MAPLight.org is a group dedicated to "illuminating the connection" between money and politics. Its website includes a database that compiles lawmakers' and interest groups' stances on bills and lists donations to the lawmakers.