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AT&T aids Arnold’s after-school program

first_imgSACRAMENTO – Telephone giant AT&T, which spent millions last year to influence legislation giving the company access to California’s cable-television market, gave about $500,000 Tuesday to a private after-school program founded by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Schwarzenegger, who signed the 2006 cable law, attended a ceremony in San Antonio, where AT&T’s philanthropic arm announced the donation to the governor’s nonprofit After-School All-Stars program. Schwarzenegger founded the national program in 1992 as a way to provide tutoring services and sports to at-risk middle-school students. It has affiliates in 14 cities. For AT&T, Tuesday’s donation followed a 2006 legislative session in which California lawmakers approved a law giving the company and Verizon Communications access to the state’s $5.3 billion-a-year cable-TV market. The law took effect in January. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In 2006, AT&T gave $744,614 to political candidates and campaigns, including $44,600 to Schwarzenegger. Meanwhile, the company spent $23.6 million to hire lobbyists and pay for television commercials promoting the cable bill. Verizon and its employees contributed $395,347 to political candidates and campaigns, and the company spent $2.3 million on lobbying expenses. The chairman of the after-school program, former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros, a Cabinet member in the Clinton administration, said he sought the donation from AT&T, which is headquartered in the Texas city. “They have been very generous to a range of nonprofit activities, so it made sense for them to support the After-School All-Stars,” Cisneros said. The program serves about 65,000 children in 15 cities, he said. It started out providing sports activities for kids but has been transformed into an academic program, he added.last_img

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