45,000 Verizon workers are currently on strike. Verizon is asking their workers for 1 billion dollars in concessions, while simultaneously receiving a billion dollars in subsidies. In situations like this, it is always important to view the political clout of the two sides, because many times that is how these things are decided.
In 2010 Verizon hired 143 lobbyists and spent $16,750,000 on lobbying. They have spent more than 15 million dollars on lobbying each of the past 3 full years. They also have used former congressman Robert L. Livingston, L.F. Payne Jr, and Gerry Sikorski as lobbyists. Crossroad Strategies, DCI Group, and Ernst and Young were some of the major lobbying firms used by Verizon. They have already lobbied on two bills involving labor this year.
In 2010 Verizon donated $1,967,398 to candidates, about equally to both major parties, making them the 55th biggest campaign contributor. The gave Rick Boucher (D-VA) $29,500, Steny Hoyer (D-MD) $26,300, Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) $25,800, Eliot L. Engel (D-NY) $24,800, and Kelly A Ayotte (R-NH) $24,358.
There were also lots of donations from notable employees of Verizon including Executive Thomas J. Tauke, who has become a major player in campaign finance. He has given $10,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, $5,000 to the Republican Party of Iowa, $2,400 to Michael Lange, Roy Blunt, Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, and John Dingell, all last year. Also last year, $4,000 to Karen Diebel, $2,000 to Olympia Snowe and Eliot Engel. In 09, he gave $2,000 to both John McCain and Rich Boucher. Attorney for Verizon Randal S. Milch also gave $2,400 to Kristen Gillibrand and Steny Hoyer in 2009.
Verizon’s PAC also spent $271,499 last year, split equally between the two parties. Notable candidates receiving money from the PAC include Chuck Schumer ($2,500), Former Presidential Nominee John McCain ($2,000), David Vitter ($1,000), Speaker of the House John Boehner ($2,500), Super-Congress Member Fred Upton ($2,000), Super-Congress Member Chris Van Hollen ($2,500), Eric Cantor ($2,500), Mike Conaway ($1,000), unlikely Presidential candidate Thaddeus McCotter ($1,000), Super-Congress Member Xavier Becerra ($1,500), Darrell Issa ($1,000), and Progressive Caucus member Hank Johnson ($1,000). The main donor to the PAC was President of Verizon Lowell McAdam.
The CWA or Communications Workers of America is the union representing the workers striking against Verizon. The CWA is a much smaller donor than Verizon, but was one of the major donors and spending groups for Kathy Hochul who won the special election in the 26th district of New York earlier this year. They contributed about 4 million in the 2010 elections. They have never spent a million dollars on lobbying any given year, but they did lobby on the FAA reauthorization bill. These numbers show that if politicians have anything to say about this, Verizon wins.