Black American voters have been the most loyal voting segment within the Democratic Party.
Often, the Black voter swings elections. This political power and equity is diluted and impaired when outsized corporate and lobbying influences overpower the priorities and interests of the Black voting masses. In a rigged system that favors the priorities and interests of elites and entrenched power, the Black voter is never a true priority.
Big structural reforms are never a priority when there is so much money being invested in protecting the status quo.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in 2010 that “the laws are written by lobbyists.” Schmidt would later invest in Cory Booker’s personal business, Waywire. The New York Times smartly covered how tech magnates bet on Booker and his future.
Do your politicians belong to you or are they owned and compromised by conflicted corporate money and the prospect of getting a payout once they leave office?
It often seems that Black politicians are preyed on by the swamp which sees them as a mark to be exploited. In many cases, the Black political operative is happy to find new friends and support in an extremely competitive political environment.
Black America needs to pay closer attention to the Silicon Valley swamp. This is where the money and “mecca of white supremacy” have shifted over the past decade. Political power in a corrupt system will follow the money.
Here are some ways that the swamp monopoly board works:
Politicians get donations/money for their campaigns and conflictedly take care of those who put their wallets behind them.
The political operative gets value.
Political operatives go into politics to build a network of conflicted relationships with a bet on a payout later, once they leave office. Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, for example, joined the Wall Street investment firm Centerview Partners LLC, whose leaders include long-time friends of his and campaign donors.
In August 2007 while campaigning in Iowa, Obama promised that the revolving door — the pattern of people going from industry to government agencies and back to industry — would be closed in the Obama White House.
“When I’m president of the United States, if you want to work for my administration, you can’t leave my administration and then go lobby,” Obama said.
Former Barack Obama campaign mastermind and aide David Plouffe went on to work for the Silicon Valley swamp as senior vice president of policy and strategy at Uber. Then he joined Facebook’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where he led policy and advocacy efforts.
The political operative/politician benefits while in office with the hiring of family members at Uber, Facebook, and Google — companies that are facing heavy regulatory scrutiny at the state and federal level.
Sen. Chuck Schumer got $50,000 in donations from Facebook and his daughter Alison Schumer got a job as a Facebook product marketing manager, which pays an average of $160,000, according to Glassdoor.com.
Former aides to Speaker Nancy Pelosi are in demand with businesses and trade groups looking to push their priorities in the Democratic House. In the first quarter of 2019, 17 former Pelosi staffers were active registered lobbyists, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Catlin O’Neill, Pelosi’s former chief of staff , went to work in Facebook’s Washington, D.C., office.
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Political operatives are cultivated by lobbyist groups such as AIPAC, getting tickets and tours to Israel, and then organizational support throughout their political support. “If I forget thee, O Israel, may I cut off my right hand,” Booker told a gathering of the pro-Israel lobby‘s New Jersey delegation in March.
Political operatives leave their position and go to work as lobbyists, leveraging their connections on the inside. Hoping to clean up its PR nightmare, vape products maker Juul hired Ben Jealous as a lobbyist. Jealous is a former president of the NAACP and was a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Maryland.
Political operatives build a network that can benefit their private foundations once they leave office, possibly looking the other way on needed regulations such as privacy, antitrust, the opioid epidemic and big pharma.
To flip from being exploited by Facebook, Google, AIPAC, Juul, Uber, and other entrenched cabals of power, Black America must start attacking the design of the monopoly board. Confronting the money-changers pimpin’ the political system would be one of the biggest strategic pivots in Black political history in America.