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HomeUncategorized11/8 News Roundup & Open Thread – “Our Story Is The Story Of America”
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jcitybone

https://newrepublic.com/article/155664/rich-americans-interfering-elections

Imagine this: One of the largest companies in Russia and the world, with billions of dollars in contracts with the Russian government, dumps $1.5 million into an American local election with the intent to shape the outcome to be more favorable to its interests. It donates or spends this money on the candidates it knows will vote for policies that keep its taxes low. We would have to imagine that the disclosure of such a scheme would touch off outrage, congressional hearings, wall-to-wall coverage on MSNBC and CNN, perhaps even special counsel investigations or the sanctioning of elected officials. It would dominate news cycle after news cycle.

Before you fire up Twitter and sound the dezinformatsiya alarm, this did not happen. What did happen is that Amazon, headed by the world’s richest man and armed with $230 billion in revenue last year, spent $1.5 million on an attempt to mold the outcome of the Seattle city council election. The effort wasn’t particularly successful—their candidates failed to win a majority—but the company may have succeeded in toppling some of their loudest opponents, including socialist councilwoman Kshama Sawant, though many ballots that may tip in her favor remain uncounted.

Regardless of the result, the episode should serve as a reminder of the utterly insane state of campaign finance in America. It is bonkers that a corporation of any national origin, including America, can openly spend money with the intent of manipulating an election to their liking, whether or not it works (and it often does). It is wild that we are even talking about “Amazon-backed candidates” in any setting outside of a bribery hearing.

In the case of Seattle’s elections, Amazon dropped a tiny bit of its vast resources into trying to purchase a council that would prize the company’s interests over the interests of Seattle residents, and to quiet progressive critics who have credibly accused Amazon of worsening the homeless crisis. Last year, for example, the city council almost passed a “head tax” of $275 per employee to fund affordable housing, but repealed it just a month later after Amazon launched “a well-funded and vicious campaign.” (There are 11,000 homeless people in Seattle.) The company threatened to sublease space in its new building instead of occupying it itself, which it later did anyway. In 2019, Amazon donated $1.45 million to an organization called Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy, which backed six candidates. Sawant’s Amazon-backed opponent, Egan Orion, “garnered personal donations from at least 18 Amazon executives,” according to Bloomberg.

magsview

You beat me to it! As usual, lol. Thank you jcitybone! I love your contributions.

orlbucfan

Gawd, Bezos is ugly. With that shaved head, he looks like a Borg. Evil and mechanical like one, too. T and R, LD!! I hit the roof in rage last night over Bloomberg’s announcement. My calmer side prevailed. It proves that Bernie is going to win the election, and Bye-done is toast. Buttagag might be toast, too. 🙂

jcitybone

Don’t agree with Axelrod on much, but this is true

magsview

Geez, will Bloomberg be buying his way into the debates now too? à la Steyer?

So Obama’s rich people fundraiser for Biden won’t be enough to grease the skids for Joe?

magsview

The Alfalfa Club needs to be represented after all!

There are approximately 200 members of the club, all of them influential politicians and business executives.

One of the evening’s activities includes the playful nomination of a presidential candidate by the Club’s leadership. The candidate is then required to make a speech. Several such candidates became President of the United States after being nominated, including Richard Nixon in 1965 (elected in 1968), Ronald Reagan in 1974 (elected in 1980), and George W. Bush in 1998 (elected in 2000).[1] In 1969, it nominated Harold Stassen.[6] In 2004, the Club nominated Jack Valenti, the former president of the Motion Picture Association of America. Its 2000 nomination was Australian-born James Wolfensohn, constitutionally ineligible for election to the U.S. presidency.[1] In 2001, the presidential nomination went to John McCain. In 2011, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female president of the club.[7] In 2017, Michael Bloomberg was elected president of the club,[8] in 2018, John Kerry was elected president, and in 2019, Mitt Romney was elected.