Consumers for Competitive Choice

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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.

Consumers for Competitive Choice (which abbreviates is name as (C4CC) is a 501 (c)(4) "group" behind the financial industry front group "Stop Too Big To Fail. C4CC's president is Robert K. Johnson, an Indianapolis, Indiana lawyer who formerly represented about two dozen telecom companies. C4CC describes itself on its Web site as “a diverse national coalition of Americans who support a strong, vibrant and consumer-focused economy that is united in the belief that our country’s greatest strength is its ability to dream, build, innovate and compete.” Its Web site features photos of minority families, like African Americans and Asian Americans. [1] The group claims on its Web site to have one million members. [2]

The most recent blog on its Web site is dated 2006.[3]

C4CC also opposes federal renewable energy standards, defends the use of phthalates in plastics, and argues against legislation to improve mileage standards in vehicles.[4]

Astroturf history and corporate backers

Before C4CC was "Consumers for Competitive Choice" it was "Consumers for Cable Choice," a front group that, like Consumers for Competitive Choice and Stop Too Big To Fail, had the appearance of a consumer-interest group, but was actually funded by big telecom companies like SBC and Verizon and fought to deregulate the cable industry. Robert K. Johnson ("Bob" Johnson) was also president of Consumers for Cable Choice, which included groups like the California Small Business Association and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) which also received substantial funds from big telecom companies. Bob Johnson acknowledged receiving $75,000 in startup funds for the "Cable Choice" group from Verizon in the summer of 2005 and a similar amount from SBC. [5]

Through Consumers for Competitive Choice, Bob Johnson also runs www.simplecoverage.org, a website funded by the big insurer Assurant, that says it helps people navigate the individual insurance market. C4CC recently visited Capitol Hill to advocate against credit card fees that are the bane of many businesses. Consumers for Competitive Choice paid Bob Johnson $198,000 through his law firm for “consulting and management” services, according to C4CC’s 2008 tax filings.[6]

Contact

Consumers for Competitive Choice provides no contact information, address, telephone number, fax number or email address on its own Web site. The "Contact Us" link takes you to a Web form that provides no contact information, but provides only for one-way communication with C4CC. The "Donate" link leads to a page that says, "Coming Soon." The following contact information was found on a letter-to-the-editor posted on C4CC's Web site:

Robert K. Johnson
2454 Waldon Drive
Greenwood, IN 46143
Phone: (317) 506-7348

Web site: http://www.consumers4choice.org/

Another Web site, that of C4CC's group Stop Too Big To Fail lists C4CC's address as
Consumers 4 Competitive Choice, a 501(c)(4)
P.O. Box 329
Greenwood, IN 46142
Email: media@stoptoobigtofail.com
Phone: 1-866-285-6216

SourceWatch resources

External Resources

References

  1. Consumers for Competitive Choice Home page, Web page, accessed April 22, 2010
  2. Consumers for Competitive Choice Solving Critical Problems with Broadband Solutions, Undated. Accessed April 22, 2010
  3. Consumers for Competitive Choice Blog, accessed April 22, 2010.
  4. Consumers for Competitive Choice News, Organizational Web site, accessed April 22, 2010
  5. David Lazarus Cable 'coalitions' sketchy, San Francisco Chronicle, November 2, 2005
  6. Justin Elliott Financial Reform Opposition for Hire, TPM, April 21, 2010