Cell Phone Late-Arrival Nextel Lobbying Likened to CUs
WASHINGTON-Two staff writers from The Washington Post paralleled the recent lobbying battle between Nextel and the rest of the industry and regulators to credit unions' grassroots efforts after the landmark AT&T Supreme Court case. The article explains how Nextel has not been very active politically, but now that it wants to expand by purchasing airwaves at what some say is less than a fair price, the company is wrangling with politicians and regulators to raise itself from the ranking of sixth largest cellular phone company. However, the company has scoured the K Street lobbyists to put together a dream team. Authors Jeffrey Birnbaum and Yuki Noguchi characterized the credit union industry as a "minor participant" in political battles until the Supreme Court endangered their existence. "Then the Credit Union National Association awakened, hired high-priced consultants and created a state-of-the-art lobbying presence in the districts and states of pivotal members of Congress," the article read. "Eventually, the association mobilized those local advocates to defeat the potent American Bankers Association and enact legislation in 1998 that overturned the Supreme Court decision. "Now it is Nextel's turn."