Robert K. Johnson
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This article is part of the Center for Media & Democracy's spotlight on front groups and corporate spin.
Robert K. "Bob" Johnson is an Indianapolis, Indiana lawyer and serial astroturf group operator who formerly represented about two dozen telecom companies. He now serves as president of the corporate front group Consumers for Competitive Choice (C4CC), the group behind the financial industry front group "Stop Too Big To Fail. 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.  C4CC claims on its Web site to have one million members. 
Johnson's "group," C4CC, also opposes federal renewable energy standards, defends the use of phthalates in plastics, and argues against legislation to improve mileage standards in vehicles.
Before C4CC was "Consumers for Competitive Choice" it was a group called "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. 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. 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. 
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.
Robert K. Johnson
2454 Waldon Drive
Greenwood, IN 46143
Phone: (317) 506-7348
- Consumers for Competitive Choice Home page, Web page, accessed April 22, 2010
- Consumers for Competitive Choice Solving Critical Problems with Broadband Solutions, Undated. Accessed April 22, 2010
- Consumers for Competitive Choice News, Organizational Web site, accessed April 22, 2010
- David Lazarus Cable 'coalitions' sketchy, San Francisco Chronicle, November 2, 2005
- Justin Elliott Financial Reform Opposition for Hire, TPM, April 21, 2010