AT&T gave $3 million to Obama’s inauguration

January 31, 2013
Telecommunications giant AT&T gave $3 million to fund the festivities surrounding President Obama's swearing-in ceremony two weeks ago -- one of the largest ever contributions to a presidential inauguration, according to the company's lobbying report.
In a report filed to Congress on Wednesday night, the company said that it had spent $3.4 million on lobbying during the last three months of the year, covering everything from sales of wireless spectrum, intellectual property protections and broadband affordability, among hundreds of other issues.
Obama prohibited corporate contributions to his first inauguration in 2009. But he lifted the restriction for this year, after the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., voluntarily limited corporate funding and ended deep in debt.
One restriction remained for the 21013 inaugural: a prohibition on direct contributions from individual lobbyists and political action committees. AT&T's donation to Obama's inauguration came from the company itself, not from its PAC.
AT&T, which spent a total of $17.4 million on lobbying in 2012, was required to report the contribution to the presidential inauguration under a provision of a 2007 ethics reform bill that Obama championed as a senator from Illinois.
AT&T and the Presidential Inaugural Committee did not immediately return a request for comment Thursday.
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Vincent Bzdek | January 31, 2013