On those few occasions where he left his basement to campaign, Joe liked to pretend that Trump was a puppet of big corporate donors, while framing himself as the virtuous defender of the little guy. Here is just one of many examples:
Even before election day, this aw-shucks, ‘Scranton Joe’ narrative was blasted six ways past Sunday by those members of the press who were not actually funding his election bid.
But the Democrats still talk in hushed tones about the danger of ‘dark money’ influencing elections… with the inference being that these big-spending donors belong to banks, pharma, or other huge industries and heavily favor Republicans by buying their votes.
But if Democrats are correct in saying that big-dollar lobbyists throw their money around because they believe politicians can be bought, they might want to clean up their own house first.
A study has been released to tell us who the three biggest political lobby groups in DC really are. And they are no friends of the Republicans.
In just the past 10 years, Big Tech companies swiftly constructed their lobbying operation to become among the largest in the country. While not even in the top eight spenders in 2017, Facebook and Amazon are now the two largest individual lobbying spenders in Washington (see Table 1). Google briefly topped the list in 2017, but dropped off by 2020.
Facebook and Amazon’s ascent was rapid. Most other corporations that make the top eight list are legacy spenders in Washington. In fact, the four biggest spenders after Facebook and Amazon have been on the leaderboard since 2017. Boeing, which now spends nearly 56% less than Facebook, has been a top eight spender since 2010.
Not only do they stand at the top of the list, Facebook and Amazon lead the pack of corporate lobbying spenders by a significant margin. In fact, Amazon spent about 30% more than the next biggest spender, Comcast (Table 2). –PublicCitizen
Here’s a look at that table they mentioned.
While the ranking order is important, it takes a good long look at the dollar figures on the right, comparing the top few from those trailing far behind them to truly grasp the staggering implications of this table.
There are other very lucrative ways they have been helping one party at the expense of another.
Comcast, for example, runs a number of media companies, including MSNBC who has been leading the charge in running salacious stories damaging to Republicans, with little, if any regard to how true they are. (Is Rachael Maddow still getting paid to rant about Russia, or have they finally moved on from that?)
Facebook has spent the last few years turning Clinton-ally David Brock’s fever dream of blacklisting Republicans from social media (War Plan 2017) into a reality, destroying, and sometimes even bankrupting voices on the right whose only ‘crime’ was to support the ‘wrong’ political agenda.
With fewer voices exposing sins of the political left, it becomes easier to bury politically inconvenient narratives like the perfectly-valid news story of Hunter’s laptop which — had it not been buried — would almost certainly have alienated enough Democrat voters to give Trump a second term.
Beyond that, Zuckerberg himself donated 100s of millions of dollars by way of a charity in targeted strings-attached donations to ‘help’ with elections in what has been described by critics as a dangerous precedent in the privatization of the election process.
Now we know just how entrenched these enormous companies are in DC political gamesmanship. We also know that lobby money is used to tilt the playing field in the donor’s favor.
It will be on us to watch out for ways in which these political favors give an advantage to the lobbyist, and give them extra scrutiny.
For example, now that Zuckerberg and the other Tech Giants have a number of ‘advisors’ working for the Biden White House, he has suddenly started pushing for changes to Section 230.
Any changes HE comes down in favor of would certainly put rivals taking a run at his social media hegemony at some kind of a political or financial disadvantage.
Oh look — he’s already doing that. He’s taking a run at any social media group that favors free speech.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will propose this week that Congress make revisions to federal internet regulations that would require platforms to have systems in place for identifying and removing unlawful content.
…While meant to ensure that companies are taking action against unlawful content, the changes could theoretically shore up Facebook’s power, as well as that of other internet giants like Google, by requiring smaller social media companies and startups to develop robust content moderation systems that can be costly.–NBC
Zuckerberg and Amazon don’t have any history of misusing their authority to harm any competitors before now, do they? We could ask Parler.
Speaking of Parler, there’s another reason this change is bad. It REQUIRES other social media companies to adopt some variation of Facebook and Google’s authoritarian, big-brother, nanny-state business model, rather than the free-speech model that inspired their creation in the first place.
Funny how this comes to light right around the time that Trump and Mike Lidell (the My Pillow guy) are putting forward platforms in which political speech is NOT regulated by totalitarian leftists.
This is a dangerous symbiotic precedent. It’s one which the right must not let the Left exploit as a backdoor to ratchet down even MORE internet control to silence even MORE political speech.