Tell AT&T: Stop funding white supremacy
Rep. Steve King of Iowa is a racist and a white supremacist. He keeps a confederate flag on his desk. He retweets neo-Nazis and endorsed one for mayor of Toronto. He courts favor with extremist, right-wing European nationalists. He has accused immigrants of "undermining our culture and civilization."1
Even though King spreads so much hate, major corporations continue to bankroll him.
One of his biggest corporate donors, the telecommunications giant AT&T, donated $5,000 to his 2018 re-election campaign and a total of $59,000 over King's career.2
We must call out AT&T in no uncertain terms for funding a white supremacist and build as much public pressure as possible so it never donates to King again.
Tell AT&T: Stop funding white supremacy.
King's corporate funders have been in the spotlight because recent media reports highlighted a trip King took over the summer where, after visiting the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland, he gave an interview to an anti-Semitic publication tied to the far-right Austrian Freedom Party, which was founded by a former Nazi officer and is currently led by neo-Nazis.3 In the interview, King spouted white supremacist talking points and expressed his belief that Europeans are superior and that white Western culture is threatened by Muslims and immigrants.4
After dozens of publications reported on King's comments, journalist Judd Legum called out King's corporate donors.5 In response, Land O' Lakes, Purina and Intel have all said they will not donate to King anymore.
Yet AT&T has failed to issue an apology or commit to not funding King in the future. Their cowardly response was that they would "take all concerns very seriously."6
Tell AT&T: Stop funding white supremacy.
It's clear that public pressure on corporations to stop funding King and his white supremacy is working. When faced with a boycott, Land O' Lakes quickly responded with a statement, saying, "We take our civic responsibility seriously, want our contributions to be a positive force for good and also seek to ensure that recipients of our contributions uphold our company's values." Likewise, when Purina was faced with its own boycott, the company responded via tweet, "Representative King’s recent statements are in conflict with our values and we are no longer contributing to his campaign."7
AT&T has a long history of caving to racism and funding conservative causes when the company believes it will help its bottom line. Its subsidiary DirectTV refunded subscriptions to their NFL Sunday Ticket programming to viewers who were offended by players kneeling during the national anthem.8 AT&T donated more than $2 million to Trump's inaugural slush fund and paid Trump's now-convicted lawyer Michael Cohen $600,000 for access to the White House and to influence anti-net neutrality regulations.9,10 And it donated heavily to Republicans and spent millions to lobby the Trump administration to win favor for a proposed $85 billion mega-merger with Time Warner.11
AT&T should do better or be held accountable. Add your name to demand that AT&T stands against hate, racism and white supremacy and cuts ties with Steve King.
Thanks for everything you do.
- Elspeth Reeve, "Steve King Wants to Protect the Border from Cantaloupe-Sized Calves," The Atlantic, July 23, 2013.
- Russ Choma, "Corporations Are Pulling Their Support From Steve King. These Outfits Are Doubling Down." Mother Jones, October 31, 2018.
- Alex Kotch, "After Visiting Auschwitz, Rep. Steve King Gave Interview to Anti-Semitic Publication," Sludge, Oct. 25, 2018.
- Christopher Mathias and Nick Robins-Early, "Rep. Steve King Goes Full White Nationalist In Interview With Austrian Site," HuffPost, Oct. 25, 2018.
- Judd Legum, Tweet, Oct. 28, 2018.
- Michael Burke, "AT&T will 'take all concerns very seriously' when considering future contributions to Steve King," The Hill, Oct. 31. 2018.
- Fredreka Schouten, "Land O'Lakes, Purina drop financial support for Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King," CNN, Oct. 30, 2018.
- SB Nation NFL, "DirecTV allows Sunday Ticket refunds after NFL protests, per report," SBNation, Sep 26, 2017
- Sidney Fussell, "Here's How Much Tech Companies Gave to the Trump Inauguration," Gizmodo, April 19, 2017.
- Trish Tobin, "Why did AT&T pay Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen $600,000? We have some ideas." CREDO Mobile, May 23, 2018.
- Todd Shields, "AT&T Woos Washington Over Time Warner Deal, Schmoozes Trump," Bloomberg," Feb. 8, 2017.