By Eliza Krigman
AT&T is lining up support for its acquisition of T-Mobile from a slew of liberal groups with no obvious interest in telecom deals - except that they've received big piles of AT&T's cash.
In recent weeks, the NAACP, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Education Association have each issued public statements in support of the deal.
The groups all say their public positions have nothing to do with the money they received from AT&T. And AT&T says it supports nonprofit groups because it's the right thing to do - and not because of any quid pro quo.
"For decades, AT&T has proudly supported numerous diverse groups and organizations," a company spokesperson told POLITICO.