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Thread: Making Politicians Work for their Money

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Making Politicians Work for their Money

    Here’s how much Facebook donated to every lawmaker questioning Mark Zuckerberg this week
    The Verge, April 10 2018

    Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is testifying before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce today, fresh off the heels of a grueling five-hour joint session before the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees yesterday. In total, Zuckerberg will face questions from nearly 100 legislators, and many of those legislators have received thousands of dollars from the company Zuckerberg runs.

    Over the last 12 years, Facebook has spent $7 million in campaign contributions. Historically, Facebook has donated slightly more to Democrats than Republicans, but overall, the platform’s political footprint is small in Washington, DC relative to its market cap, which is currently calculated at about $400 billion. That’s not unusual for technology companies: Amazon spent $4 million in campaign contributions over 20 years, and it has a market cap of nearly $700 billion. (Note, however, that Alphabet, Inc., with a market cap just over Amazon’s, appears to be outspending Facebook in DC by an order of magnitude.)

    According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, since 2014, Facebook has contributed a total of $641,685 to the members of Congress that Zuckerberg is facing this week. The top recipients of that money include Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA).

    The amount of money received didn’t necessarily correlate to the hostility of questions asked by the legislators in Zuckerberg’s first hearing. That said, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) did make a somewhat bizarre pro-Facebook comment, saying, “Some have professed themselves shocked, shocked that companies like Google and Facebook share user data with advertisers. Did any of these individuals stop to ask themselves why Google and Facebook don’t charge for access? Nothing in life is free.” Hatch has taken $15,200 from Facebook since 2014 — the sixth largest amount on the combined committees.

    But other senators who have received even larger campaign contributions from Facebook didn’t hold back. Cory Booker, who has received $44,025 from Facebook since 2014 (the largest amount), questioned Zuckerberg on the 2016 ProPublica investigation that showed Facebook allowed advertisers to target by race. Kamala Harris, who took the second largest amount ($30,990) grilled the CEO on why Facebook did not notify users in 2015 that Cambridge Analytica had misused their data, causing Zuckerberg to squirm uncomfortably.

    If any senators pulled their punches, it was along party lines, when small-government Republicans like Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) or Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) questioned the necessity of additional regulation. At one point Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) held up a tablet and pointed at the Facebook “privacy” tab, blaming individuals for not properly reviewing their own settings. Wicker has received $10,000 from Facebook since 2014, Tillis has received $7,500, and Sullivan has received a whopping $2,500.

    The campaign contributions from Facebook to all the legislators who posed Mark Zuckerberg questions this week are listed below. The list includes the members of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees and House Committee on Energy and Commerce are listed in full below, and dates back to 2014.

    = = = = = =

    My comment

    49.963% : 50.037%
    $703,670 vs. $704,700 (total: $1,408,370)
    That’s the break-down of how much Facebook gave to Democrats and Republicans in 2014-18.

    The biggest receipients are Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ: $44,025), Rp Anna Eshoo (D-CA: $39,800), Sen Kamala Harris (D-CA: $30,990), Rep Greg Walden (R-OR: $20,000), and Rep Steve Scalise (R-LA: $19,500).

    Sen Harris got nothing in 2014 as she was not either a candidate or an elected official. Rep Walden is chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) got $10,000 in 2014 and $1,000 in 2016.

    Selected "friends:"

    Legislator_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Committee_ _ _ _ _ Role_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2014 Cycle_ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2016 _ _ _ _ _ _2018 Cycle_ _ _Total 2014-2018


    Committee Leaders
    Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) _ Senate Judiciary_ _ Chairman_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $1,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $4,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $0_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $5,000
    Feinstein, Dianne (D-CA) _ Senate Judiciary_ Minority _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _$10,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $1,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $0_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $11,000
    Thune, John (R-SD) _ Senate Commerce_ _ _Chairman_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $3,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $5,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $2,000_ _ _ _ _ _ $10,500
    Nelson, Bill (D-FL) _ Senate Commerce_ _ _ Minority _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _$2,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $5,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $2,500_ _ _ _ _ _ $10,000
    Walden, Greg (R-OR) _ House Energy/Commerce_ Chair_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _$7,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $7,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $5,500_ _ _ _ _ _ $20,000
    Pallone, Frank (D-NJ) _ House Energy/Commerce_ Minor _ _ _ _ _ _ _$3,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $0_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $2,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ $6,000

    Senate
    Booker, Cory (D-NJ) _ Judiciary_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $42,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $0_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $2,025_ _ _ _ _ _ _ $44,025
    Harris, Kamala (D-CA) _ Judiciary_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ N/A_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $28,275_ _ __ _ _ _ _ $2,715_ _ _ _ _ _ _ $30,990
    Leahy, Patrick (D-VT) _ Judiciary_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $2,500_ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ $13,900_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $0_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $16,400
    Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN) _ Commerce, Judiciary_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $2,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $8,200_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $5,200_ _ _ _ _ _ _ $15,900
    Hatch, Orrin (R-UT) _ Judiciary_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $9,200_ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ $4,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $2,000_ _ _ _ __ _ _ $15,200


    House of Representatives
    Eshoo, Anna (D-CA) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $17,800_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $18,100_ __ _ _ _ _ _ $3,900_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $39,800
    Walden, Greg (R-OR) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ $7,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $7,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $5,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $20,000
    Scalise, Steve (R-LA) _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $10,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $7,000_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $2,500_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ $19,500
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  2. #2
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    speaking of working for their money...

    ====

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...637_story.html

    Maybe Scott Pruitt isn’t corrupt enough

    by Dana Milbank Columnist June 6 at 6:17 PM

    Scott Pruitt: You can do better than this.

    On Monday , The Post broke the news that a government aide to Pruitt, President Trump’s EPA administrator, contacted the Trump International Hotel in Washington in hopes of snagging a used Trump Home Luxury Plush Euro Pillow Top mattress , on which Pruitt could rest his weary body after long days ignoring environmental protections.

    On Tuesday, the same Post trio — Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis and Josh Dawsey — reported that Pruitt also had a government staffer arrange a phone call with Chick-fil-A executives to discuss “a potential business opportunity” — having Pruitt’s wife run a franchise of the fast-food joint.

    This is a tragic case of low self-esteem.

    Pruitt could be shaking down corporate polluters for tens of millions of dollars — and he’s trying to use his influence to get a deal on a used Trump mattress that costs $1,750 new? He could get so many sweetheart deals from those he regulates that his wife would never have to work again — and he’s using pull so she can sell $3.99 chicken sandwiches?

    Pruitt’s problem isn’t that he’s corrupt; it’s that he isn’t corrupt enough. He could be thrashing with the big gators in the swamp, but he’s lounging with larvae in a mud puddle. Pruitt should abandon his penny-ante corruption and get rich the way others do in Trump’s Washington.

    Press Secretary Sarah Sanders says the White House is looking into reports that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had an aide run his personal errands. (Reuters)

    Why get in trouble for renting a condo for a below-market $50 per night when, like Jared Kushner, you could have a $120 million investment that helps your family business from a group with ties to Qatar’s government while you oversee Middle East policy?

    Pruitt is being raked over the coals for wasting more than $60,000 on military and charter flights and for flying first-class (coach is too dangerous!). Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump stands to gain tens of millions from the trademarks issued to her businesses by China while her father negotiates with that country.

    Poor Pruitt gets heat for a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office (although, I admit, that one was quite creative). But Kushner, the president’s son-in-law , invites financial executives to the White House, reportedly dangles a job in front of one of them, and his family business gets $500 million in loans.

    Pruitt is being investigated for giving raises of $66,000 and $48,000 to aides who are pals of his, one of which resigned on Wednesday. The president, by contrast, is making untold millions for the Trump Organization from interest groups and foreign governments that are either funneling business to or otherwise boosting Trump properties in hopes of winning favor with the president.

    Pruitt may be afraid that, if he were to do what Trump and his kin do, it might be “illegal,” to use the archaic term. This may also be why Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson ($31,000 dining set), Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke ($139,000 office doors) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (asked for a military charter for his European honeymoon) have not exploited the full moneymaking potential of their jobs.

    But they should take heart from the example of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who took in $2.35 million from AT&T, Novartis, a company tied to a Russian oligarch and others — and gave them almost nothing of value in return.

    Even North Korea knows how to play the game. A CIA analysis, reported last week by NBC News, found that North Korea has no intention of giving up its nuclear weapons — but “Kim Jong Un may consider offering to open a Western hamburger franchise in Pyongyang as a show of goodwill.”

    That Kim is willing to put patties on the table shows he understands Trump. Certainly, Trump won’t accept one burger joint in lieu of denuclearization. But what if Kim would, say, agree to open a Trump International Hotel in Pyongyang? In exchange, Trump would probably allow North Korea to keep its nuclear weapons as long as it promises to use them only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. — except in emergencies. If Kim were to order the entire North Korean labor force to manufacture Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, her father might well cede North Korea control of California.

    Pruitt, to get the riches he deserves, needs to be upfront about his price and hang out the proverbial shingle. That’s essentially what Cohen did:

    Accounting Advice: $150,000

    Telecom insights: $200,000

    Negotiating with Playboy model you got pregnant: $387,500

    Help with real estate investments: $500,000

    Advice on health-care policy: $1.2 million

    When you consider Pruitt’s agency fined polluters some $5 billion last year, and that environmental compliance costs are in the hundreds of billions, Pruitt could get a lot more from them than a Chick-fil-A franchise.

    Of course, such behavior could land him in prison — but Trump’s pardon will come through even before the Trump Home Luxury Plush Euro Pillow Top mattress arrives in Pruitt’s cell.
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

  3. #3
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    get a deal on a used Trump mattress
    I could go there... but I won't.
    What I don't want to see is the Bills winning a Super Bowl. As long as I'm alive that doesn't happen.

  4. #4
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Pruitt negotiating with chick-fil-a in official capacity on behalf of his wife has got to be some kind of illegal. That guy is just next-level insane. I can't imagine wasting the public dollar like that guy does.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

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