Cronyism Calling - American Commitment

Just a couple weeks ago, American Commitment highlighted the dubious crony capitalist behavior exhibited by Dish Network, lavishly showering political donations on Democrats and then manipulating spectrum auctions to take advantage of discounts reserved for small businesses, attempting to cheat the American taxpayer out of billions in revenue. The company is now in hot water for illegal, aggressive telemarketing practices – and if you like getting your family dinner interrupted by those annoying sales calls as much as I do, that’s even worse than ripping off taxpayers.
What is important to note is that these clear instances of disregard for the law and fair business practice do not indicate mere occasional lapses in judgement, but instead, a way of life for Dish Network.
Dish Network is literally on trial for thumbing its nose at clearly established law designed to protect the average American. In proceedings that began at the end of January, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and four states are suing Dish Network, alleging that the company failed to comply with the National Do Not Call Registry – making over 55 million illegal telemarketing calls using recorded messages and contacting individuals on Do Not Call lists.
Although the verdict has yet to be determined, Dish Network settled with 46 states last year on similar allegations. Their primary argument now is not that they are innocent of these charges – but that the penalty for their violation of the law is too high.
In a document submitted to the court in November, attorneys for Dish Network stated, “DISH seeks to admit evidence at trial of stipulated judgments in other cases that the United States has brought that assess markedly lower penalties for illegal telemarketing, among other things, and public statements that the United States has made publicizing those penalty sums as tough and appropriate to punish the defendants and deter others from engaging in similar wrongful conduct.”
This very attitude – break the law first, then try to negotiate, cajole, and campaign-contribute away the consequences later – is what is of such great concern.
So watch for any unduly generous surprise settlement, but for now credit the Obama Department of Justice for pursuing enforcement against a company led by one of their top supporters and contributors. Perhaps the company’s record of bad behavior is getting too serious for even a friendly administration to ignore.