• United States
News Editor

For carrier, charity begins in the House

Apr 25, 20062 mins
Data Center

Repeat three times after me: In Washington, it’s always about the money. … It’s always about the money. … It’s always about the money.

What’s it always about in Washington? … Right, the money.

According to this story in the Chicago Sun-Times, U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., has had a community center that he founded and that carries his name funded to the tune of $1 million by SBC/AT&T, while at the same time Rush has been carrying the carrier’s water in the ongoing legislative battle over network neutrality.

Rush and his wife are on the board of directors of the center. Their son works for it. … Oh, and while the charitable donations from SBC began flowing in 2001 and stopped in 2004, the center has yet to be built. It’s supposed to be located in Englewood … and supposed to be constructed sometime in the next 12 months, according to the story.  

Two quotes worth highlighting:

“It is a clear conflict of interest for Rep. Rush to weigh in on this (net neutrality) bill,” said Sheila Krumholz, the acting executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which researches money in politics. “People can disagree about where to draw the line on contributions and abstaining from votes, but $1 million is definitely over that line.”

Seems reasonable.

And then there’s this one from an AT&T spokeswoman expressing hope that Rep. Rush’s conflict won’t keep the center from being built — whenever that might be:

“The people in Englewood should not suffer because they have a congressman on the Energy and Commerce Committee.”

Seems unlikely.

News Editor

In addition to my editing duties, I have written Buzzblog since January, 2006 and wrote the 'Net Buzz column in Network World's dearly departed print edition for 13 years. Feel free to e-mail me at