AT&T Inc. Political Contribution Statement
- AT&T Inc. complies with all applicable laws concerning political contributions. AT&T Inc. is subject to legislation and regulation that significantly impact its operations, including rates it can charge customers, its profitability and even how it must provide services to competitors. Political contributions, where permitted, are an important part of the political process.
- AT&T has built a world-class External Affairs (EA) team of seasoned professionals to represent the interests of all AT&T businesses in the public policy arena. Members of the EA team come from diverse political, geographic and socio-economic backgrounds and work together to create value for AT&T businesses through lobbying and serving as the "faces" of AT&T with government officials. As outlined in the AT&T Code of Conduct, employees are prohibited from offering favors or anything of monetary value, including gifts or loans, to employees and representatives of governmental entities, except as allowed by law under generally narrow circumstances, as in providing meals or entertainment of limited value to government representatives.
- Each year, the AT&T Inc. Board of Directors authorizes maximum aggregate contributions that can be made by AT&T, as permitted by, and in strict compliance with, applicable law for the purpose of supporting or opposing any party, candidate, political committee or ballot measure. For 2014, this amount was $6.0 million.
- Except for contributions for ballot measures, no corporate expenditure over $1,000 may be made unless approved by the Chief Executive Officer. Each proposed expenditure must be reviewed by the company's attorneys to confirm that it is lawful.
- AT&T's EA staff actively lobbies on issues that impact the company and our ability to do business. Political contributions are recommended by members of the EA staff, and, if approved, are made in accordance with this policy as permitted under law to help elect candidates whose views and positions are good for AT&T, our industry, and ultimately the free-market economy. Contributions may come from the employee-funded political action committees (PACs) that are sponsored by AT&T Inc. and its affiliates, or, when permitted by applicable law, from corporate funds.
- Contributions are made to candidates who demonstrate integrity and character, support a strong private sector and show a free-enterprise philosophy. Other factors include:
- Whether they sit on a committee that addresses legislation affecting our businesses;
- Whether they represent a district or state with a major AT&T business operation;
- Their committee standing and ranking;
- Their elected leadership position; and,
- Their voting record.
- AT&T's EA team focuses the company's political outreach with a view to the long-term interests of AT&T stockholders and employees, rather than the short-term interests of a specific business line. It is the role of the EA team to not only respond to legislative agendas, but to proactively promote the interests of AT&T businesses and forecast policy trends that can impact AT&T businesses in the long-term.
- All contributions are publicly disclosed as required by law. In particular, in all state and Federal jurisdictions, the recipient candidate campaigns and political committees are required to report the contributions they receive. In addition, the AT&T Federal PAC publicly discloses its contributions to the Federal Election Commission. Many states also require AT&T to publicly report corporate contributions made in those states.
- The company also belongs to various trade organizations. These organizations are principally comprised of the communications, information services and entertainment industries and are operated for the purpose of advancing the common goals and interests of the member companies and their customers. Management will submit to the board on an annual basis, details of our membership in these organizations to allow the board to ensure they are in the best interests of the company.