Verizon's Tauke and Retribution Against NARAL

by: Matt Stoller

Thu Sep 27, 2007 at 19:02

So what kind of person thinks that a pro-choice advocacy message is 'unsavory'?  What kind of word choice is that?  It's a good question, and goes right to the heart of this problem.

I wrote about Verizon policy chief Tom Tauke's lack of ethics last year in October, when he wrote that Verizon would use any means necessary to accomplish their deregulatory goal.  Howie Klein noted something significant.  Tauke was a right-wing anti-choice Congressman from Iowa until 1990, when NARAL spent $100,000 to successfully defeat him as he tried to jump to the Senate. 

In one of the National Journal stories (July 23, 1990) Tauke is quoted saying "When NARAL comes into the state, I'm not going to sit back and take it." Apparently he hasn't moved on.

Tauke has given hundreds of thousands to in political contributions, mostly to Republicans.  Why in the world should someone who considers abortion 'unsavory' have the right to censor political speech?  That's the heart of the problem.  I don't know for a fact that Tauke is engaging in political retribution against the group that cost him his crack at the Senate and his political career, or that this is a way of furthering his political agenda. 

But we need the consumer protections on our communications channels anyway, so that we don't have to worry about someone like Tauke having the ability to engage in retribution against his political opponents.

Matt Stoller :: Verizon's Tauke and Retribution Against NARAL

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