A new report suggests campaign contributions from the telecommunications industry helped pave the way for a bill to restrict public broadband networks.
An industry association and state's the two biggest cable providers, Time Warner Cable and CenturyLink, gave $1.6 million to state candidates since 2006, particularly lining the campaign pockets of four key leaders, according to a study by the National Institute on State Politics.
House Speaker Thom Tillis received $37,000 in 2010 and 2011, which is more than any lawmaker and more than he received in years prior. Senate leader Phil Berger received $19,500. Senate GOP leader Harry Brown received $9,000. And Senate Democratic leader Martin Nesbitt received $8,250.
In all, the study found, three-quarters of the legislature received money from the company PACS with those who voted for receiving more campaign cash on average than those who didn't.
House Bill 129 limited local governments' ability to develop publicly owned broadband networks. Gov. Bev Perdue let it become law without her signature. Perdue received about $21,250 from telecommunication donors in her 2008 campaign and continued to receive additional donations since then. Here's a link to the full "Dialing for Dollars" report.