Backstory to Verizon rejecting NARAL texts

Via Matt, I see that Verizon’s policy chief is Tom Tauke, an anti-choice congressman from Iowa in the ’80s who lost a Senate bid to Tom Harkin in 1990. From a National Review article about the campaign:

…Tauke wants a constitutional amendment recognizing “the personhood of the unborn.” “When NARAL comes into the state,” Tauke says, “I’m not going to sit back and take it.”

NARAL apparently spent $100,000 to defeat Tauke. So is it really a coincidence that this man is policy chief of the only wireless company that (initially) refused to cooperate with NARAL?
(And this is a little off topic, but upon reading Tom Tauke’s name, my first thought was, “The Indian feather guy?” As the National Review article mentions, his campaign used to hand out feathers on headbands (like this) at events. I actually remember seeing this at a parade when I was a kid in Iowa. Who knows? I may have even worn one. How retro and messed-up is that?)

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19 Comments

  1. Posted September 28, 2007 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    you’d probably get your asskicked for wearing something like now. pretty tasteless.

  2. Posted September 28, 2007 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    NICE.
    I’m really pissed off right now about being locked into a contract with those assholes. Grr.

  3. SDstuck
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    You would think that a huge national company that serves every demographic in this country would be more sensitive to polarizing stances. The ownership of Verizon was stupid to put someone in that job that could not separate a personal ideology from corporate policy.
    Both of our phone contracts are up in a few months. This was enough for me to rethink who I renew with, before it was not an issue. Now it is.
    I think they need to start calling for his resignation.

  4. PamelaV
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Can someone explain to me how the texting works? (Not what text messages are or how they are transferred, but what Naral would have gotten out of the text messages? Does part of the text cost go to Naral or something?)
    Thanks in advance.

  5. Posted September 28, 2007 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Pam, they actually wanted to use text messages to relay messages to their supporters. They wouldn’t have made a dime, and in fact it would have cost them money. Verizon simply didn’t want to transmit the messages, because they apparently think that they get to dictate the content what does and doesn’t get sent using their services.

  6. GiGi
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    “I’m really pissed off right now about being locked into a contract with those assholes. Grr.”
    Working Assets will buy out a contract up to $200. I dumped Verizon yesterday!!!

  7. xxhelenaxx
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Fuckface neocons talk about wanting to reduce the need for abortion…what they really mean is that they want to illegalize abortion/birth control period and eliminate S-CHIP and programs that unwanted/poor children depend on, all in the same breath.
    NARAL once ran an ad in the NY Times saying that it wanted to eliminate the need for abortion, too…by promoting family planning, birth control, and education. Tell that to a an anti-abortion conservative.
    Stupid bastards. This sh*t makes me so angry. all of it.

  8. xxhelenaxx
    Posted September 28, 2007 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Fuckface neocons talk about wanting to reduce the need for abortion…what they really mean is that they want to illegalize abortion/birth control period and eliminate S-CHIP and programs that unwanted/poor children depend on, all in the same breath.
    NARAL once ran an ad in the NY Times saying that it wanted to eliminate the need for abortion, too…by promoting family planning, birth control, and education. Tell that to a an anti-abortion conservative.
    Stupid bastards. This sh*t makes me so angry. all of it.

  9. Posted September 28, 2007 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    “the personhood of the unborn”
    Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!?

  10. Posted September 29, 2007 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I just want to point out that the people above this asshat didn’t let the policy stand when they were called on it, and they didn’t exactly hem and haw about it either, which means this guy was on his own. He’s an asshat, to be sure, but Verizon–and I can’t believe I’m defending them–did right on this once it became known, and it didn’t take a national mobilization to get them to do so.

  11. GiGi
    Posted September 29, 2007 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    “but Verizon–and I can’t believe I’m defending them–did right on this once it became known, and it didn’t take a national mobilization to get them to do so.”
    There has been much discussion that they capitulated early and easily in order to avoid a net neutrality showdown. Here’s a link to an article, and to a diary on dkos.
    http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/26/business/verizon.php
    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/9/27/11238/4754

  12. Posted September 29, 2007 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    There has been much discussion that they capitulated early and easily in order to avoid a net neutrality showdown.
    I read that over at Obsidian Wings, and agree with it. But regardless, they didn’t stick behind their anti-choice guy who, according to a commenter over at LG&M, didn’t work for Verizon Wireless, but worked for another part of the company, and so may not have had anything to do with the initial decision.
    Oh, and I don’t use Verizon myself. I’m a Cingular customer, which means I’m with AT&T, which means in a couple of months I’m likely to be a customer of some other company. And as much as I appreciate Working Assets’ offer, that would mean returning to Sprint, and there’s no way in hell I’m doing that.

  13. Posted September 29, 2007 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Great idea!
    I’m all up for giving personhood to the unborn. Just after you give it to all sentient beings, including those you EAT every day: cows, dogs, cats, pigs, MONKEYS and basically ALL MAMMALS.
    Or what? Didn’t he know that a CAT is more of a “person” than an embryo?
    Moron.

  14. Posted September 29, 2007 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Great idea!
    I’m all up for giving personhood to the unborn. Just after you give it to all sentient beings, including those you EAT every day: cows, dogs, cats, pigs, MONKEYS and basically ALL MAMMALS.
    Or what? Didn’t he know that a CAT is more of a “person” than an embryo?
    Moron.

  15. Posted September 30, 2007 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I hope that ESPN cut ties with Verizon. Discrimination against women’s right to abortion services are wrong.
    Knowing who is the head of Verizon, I’m glad that my family have Alltel. I’m gonna get me an Alltel phone next year because of this.

  16. Posted October 1, 2007 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    Call me a conspiracy theorist, but perhaps this was a test. Maybe Verizon was planning to censor a lot of pro-choice talk on its DSL lines, and they tested it by censoring pro-choice talk in text messages on Verizon phones first. I wouldn’t be surprised if they wanted to block its DSL users from visiting NARAL’s websites, like every time you try to visit prochoiceamerica.org, an error message comes up.

  17. oenophile
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    I’m all up for giving personhood to the unborn. Just after you give it to all sentient beings, including those you EAT every day: cows, dogs, cats, pigs, MONKEYS and basically ALL MAMMALS.
    Or what? Didn’t he know that a CAT is more of a “person” than an embryo?
    Moron.

    I’m lost. Honestly lost. Are you going Peter Singer on us by equating “person” with “sentient,” so that (presumably) those in comas are less “persons” than cats? How do you get from personhood of the unborn to personhood of animals?

  18. starknut
    Posted October 1, 2007 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    How do you grant personhood to a fetus without denying the personhood of the woman carrying it?

  19. Posted October 1, 2007 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    How do you grant personhood to a fetus without denying the personhood of the woman carrying it?
    Women aren’t people in the minds of the forced pregnancy crowd.

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