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Members allege the American GI Forum has been shilling for Boeing, Big Oil, and AT&T

Photo: Photo illustration by Chuck Kerr, License: N/A

Photo illustration by Chuck Kerr

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

Peter Vallecillo in his home office.

Soon after HTTP secured the AT&T grant, the group, with the AGIF signing on, started sending out letters urging the Federal Communications Commission not to pass “unnecessary regulation” for providers looking to expand their networks — code, network neutrality advocates say, for telling the FCC to steer clear of rules that would force providers, like AT&T, to open up their networks to competition. A year after AT&T awarded the Vet-Hire grant, Morales signed an HTTP statement calling for less regulation on broadband network providers, as to not hinder investment. Again, network neutrality activists cite this as a talking point pushed by AT&T and other major telecom companies to block network neutrality regulations by the FCC.

“When these guys were getting all this money, guess what was being discussed? Broadband legislation,” Vallecillo quipped.

Cecelia Garcia Akers is furious that the Vet-Hire name was used but received little from the grant. “These young veterans coming back form the war need help. They need re-entry programs, jobs. What happened to that $100,000?” she asked. “How many people could that have helped? It upsets me because it’s so far outside of what my father would have wanted.” •

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