Silicon Valley Tech oligarchs tightening their payola grip on Democrats with epic bribes and CIA shills



Silicon Valley Tech oligarchs tightening their payola grip on Democrats with epic bribes and CIA shills



Tech oligarchs tightening their grip on Democrats


By  | Orange County Register



The current state of the Republican Party may seem like a demolition derby, but there’s an equally fascinating, if less well-understood, conflict within the Democratic Party. In this case, the disruptive force is largely Silicon Valley, a natural oligarchy that now funds a party teetering toward populism and even socialism.

The fundamental contradictions, as Karl Marx would have noted, lie in the collision of interests between a group that has come to epitomize self-consciously progressive megawealth and a mass base which is increasingly concerned about downward mobility. For all his occasional populist lapses, President Obama generally has embraced Silicon Valley as an intrinsic part of his political coalition. He has even enlisted several tech giants – including venture capitalist John Doerr, LinkedIn billionaire Reid Hoffman and Sun Microsystems co-founder Vinod Khosla – in helping plan out Obama’s no-doubt lavish and highly political retirement.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton is hardly the icon in the Valley and its San Francisco annex as are both her husband and President Obama. But her “technocratic liberalism,” albeit hard to pin down, and close ties to the financial oligarchs seems more congenial than the grass-roots populism identified with Bernie Sanders, her chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“They don’t like Sanders at all,” notes researcher Greg Ferenstein, who has been polling Internet company founders for an upcoming book. Sanders’ emphasis on income redistribution and protecting union privileges and pensions is hardly popular among the tech elite. “He’s an egalitarian liberal,” Ferenstein explains, “These people are tech liberals. Equality is a nonissue in Silicon Valley.”

This conflict is most obvious in the assault on ride-booking firms, like Uber, by progressives like Sanders, as well as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. This battle reveals a deepening split between the party’s mass base, including conventional taxi companies and operators, and its increasingly influential tech business allies.

Some conservatives, such as pollster Scott Rasmussen, see Republican backing for Uber as an opening for the GOP. Yet Ferenstein’s poll of Internet founders reveals that barely 3 percent say they are Republicans; 18 percent are libertarian, while nearly half are Democrats. Republican operatives peg the tech donors to be 9-1 in favor of Democrats. Talk about unrequited love!

Overall, the hotbeds of the tech and information economies, including media, have become the financial bedrock of the Democratic Party. The 10 leading counties for Democratic fundraising in 2012 included, for the first time, Santa Clara, as well as San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Given their domination of the ranks of wealthy people under age 40, one can expect that this power will only increase in the years ahead.

This suggests that the tech elite, far from deserting the Democratic Party, more likely will aim take to it over. They are doing this, as other industries have, by absorbing key party operatives. Uber, for example, uses Obama campaign manager David Ploufee to lead its public relations, while other former officials have joined other tech firms such as Airbnb, Google, Twitter and Amazon.

Colliding Worldviews

This conflict between populists and tech oligarchs has been muted in the past, in large part due to common views on social issues like gay marriage and, to some extent, environmental protection. But as the social issues fade, having been “won” by progressives, the focus necessarily moves to economics, where the gap between these two factions is greatest.

Fundamentally, Silicon Valley worships at the altar of “disruption,” seeking ways to create at least the prospect of megaprofits by doing things differently. Change is celebrated by those who benefit the most from it. But groups – from cab drivers to Hollywood tradespeople, even hotel workers – whose livelihoods are threatened by the disruptions of the “share” economy, may not be so sanguine.

Other aspects of the Silicon Valley mentality – what Ferenstein calls “the politics of the creative class” – reveal the unconscious elitism of its worldview. Although their industry is overwhelming based amid the Bay Area’s suburban sprawl, the Internet oligarchs, he claims, want “everyone” to move in to the urban center, something not remotely practical for most middle- and working-class families. Other policies advocated by the oligarchs, such as pushing for ever-higher energy prices, don’t threaten their lifestyles but are devastating to the classes below them.

Perhaps the biggest area of disagreement between the oligarchy and the populists is the role of labor unions. Simply put, the oligarchs are, at best, indifferent, if not hostile, to union influence. After all, tech has blossomed virtually without organized labor, which remains a bulwark of Democratic operations. Silicon Valley-backed attempts to reform schools, or weaken pensions for government workers, can expect ferocious opposition from the unions.

Another potential dividing line can be seen on immigration, where left-leaning groups like the Economic Policy Institute have campaigned against attempts by establishment Democrats and Republicans alike to expand the H1B and other “guest worker” visa programs. In a moment of politically incorrect candor, Sen. Sanders suggested that the kind of “open borders” policy advocated by Silicon Valley, libertarians and immigration activists would result in “substantially lower wages” for working-class Americans.

Progressivism’s future?

Right now, the populists have numbers on their side, as well as much of the media. The recent New York Times expose on Amazon’s brutal management practices reveals a deep discord between the media mouthpieces of the political Left and their usual capitalist heroes from the information economy.

The biggest challenge for the tech oligarchs is that their rise has come as class divisions have widened, and inequality has grown. The benefits to society of the current technology wave – outside of being able to more conveniently waste time on your phone – whether in terms of creating jobs (outside of the Bay Area) or boosting productivity, appear largely limited.

Yet given what many find the unattractive nature of the Republican alternative, one can expect the oligarchs to seek out a modus vivendi with the populists. They could exchange a regime of higher taxes and regulation for ever-expanding crony capitalist opportunities and political protection. As the hegemons of today, Facebook and Google, not to mention Apple and Amazon, have an intense interest in protecting themselves, for example, from antitrust legislation. History is pretty clear: Heroic entrepreneurs of one decade often turn into the insider capitalists of the next.

Tech people certainly have no objection to joining the ranks of crony capitalists, notably when cloaked in environmentally green garb. The solar energy and electric car empire of Elon Musk has been made possible by subsidies; unlike most manufacturing industries, he has a well-developed interest in the most Draconian energy legislation. Other tech figures, including Doerr, Khosla and top executives at Google, have benefited from government-subsidized renewable-energy schemes.

These ventures produce very expensive energy – an economic disaster for most Californians – but have been bolstered by alliances with unions, which seek to monopolize construction within green industries. Rather than seek at least some alliance with the Right, it seems more likely that the oligarchs will be forced to make some concessions to the populist Left, including to women and minorities, groups unrepresented in the tech industry.

A possible model for such an alliance can be seen in the coupling of San Francisco hedge-fund billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and his Latino sidekick, the now-well-funded climate-change acolyte state Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León of Los Angeles, by such things as using cap-and-trade funds to fund a relatively small number of affordable houses. With the industrial economy hampered by regulation, the old blue-collar economy is dying off. This means the oligarchs may need only to support a few symbolic measures to benefit those who no longer have a productive place in the economy.

Steyer even has plans in 2018 to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown, who he thinks may not have been sufficiently Draconian in his campaign against climate change. Steyer will probably be able to count on the support of de León and other Latino politicians whom Steyer finances.

The new platform would be a combination of climate change militancy and redistribution of wealth to the poor who, due in large part to the policies advocated by Silicon Valley, have little hope of moving up economically, much less buying a home in our state. This “upstairs downstairs” coalition – largely indifferent to the interests of the traditional middle class or working class – may well represent the future of the Democratic Party, initially in the Golden State and, increasingly, nationally.

Of course, Bernie Sanders may yet have his moment, but the America he represents, that of sure things and widespread equality, will fade with him. The economic future likely belongs not to the populists but to the oligarchs and those in politics who choose to tap their money and influence to gain power. Welcome to the 21st century.

Joel Kotkin is the R.C. Hobbs Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University in Orange and the executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism (

His most recent book is “The New Class Conflict” (Telos Publishing: 2014).




Billionaire Democratic donor is building a digital army in order to impeach Trump (

submitted  ago by fartyshorts

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[–] Kwijibo 4 points (+4|-0)  ago 

Great, let him waste his money. Just one more way Trump is stimulating the economy.


[–] jcal22x 3 points (+3|-0)  ago 

AKA reddit


[–] fartyshorts [S] 1 points (+1|-0)  ago 



[–] fartyshorts [S] 3 points (+3|-0)  ago  (edited  ago)

Time to dig on this douche, and meme! They are literally throwing their money down the drain, because the left can't meme.


[–] fartyshorts [S] 4 points (+4|-0)  ago  (edited  ago)

Ties to Soros through "American Bridge" PAC

He's in the email CC about the "walnut sauce" in Podesta's emails...

He met with Podesta and Soros in 2014:

Adviser to President Obama John Podesta met with billionaires Tom Steyer and George Soros for a lunchtime meeting at the White House in February, according to meeting records.

The White House visitor documents show that shortly after Steyer had committed to spend upward of $100 million on the 2014 election cycle for environmentally friendly candidates who helped put climate change on the map, he met with Podesta and Soros.

Podesta gets cranky:

I am deep in the middle of dealing with getting fucked by the NYT, but I didn't expect to get fucked by you in the NYT. Thanks a lot for jumping us. I hope President Bush helps you reach your climate goals.

Implies that he'll have to go with Jeb now that he fucked the Clintons. (2015)


[–] fartyshorts [S] 2 points (+2|-0)  ago  (edited  ago)

His brother is James P. Steyer:

They both visited Obama's WH many times (

James Pearson Steyer (born 1956) is an American child advocate, civil rights attorney, professor and author. He is most known for founding Common Sense Media, an organization dedicated to improving media and entertainment lives for kids and families. /

In 2016, Charlie Rose reported that Common Sense Media was the United States largest non-profit dedicated to children's issues


[–] fartyshorts [S] 1 points (+1|-0)  ago  (edited  ago)

Common Sense Media has award shows, so he gets to rub shoulders with all those child actors/actresses.

His wife is a nightmarish tranny-looking thing:

She was on the SF Superbowl 50 host committee (Superbowl is also a trafficking hotspot)


Tom Steyer and Hillary Clinton's inside operator is Margie Sullivan. She ran the USAID Haiti project with Clinton Foundation and ran campaign inter-nexus for Steyer. She knows where the Clinton and Steyer family bodies are buried.



Margaret C. Sullivan (born 1962) serves as the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Chief Operating Officer as well as Chief of Staff. Prior to joining the Obama Administration, she served as Director of Political Risk Management at Farallon Capital Management.,[1] a large investment firm based in San Francisco, California.

Sullivan began her federal career on Capitol Hill, where she served as a Professional Staff Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and as National Security Adviser to the House Majority Leader. In 1994, Sullivan joined the Clinton administration and served as The Special Assistant to Defense Secretary William Perry, helping to manage his relationship with the White House, Congress and national press corps. At the Department of Housing and Urban Development, she served as West Coast Regional Director and as Chief of Staff for Secretary Andrew Cuomo.[2][3][4] She has also served as Chief of Staff for the United States Trade Representative in the Executive Office of the President.





Early career and education

Originally from California, Sullivan graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in political science from Stanford University and was a two-year MacArthur Fellow at the University of Maryland where she earned a Master's Degree in public management.[5]

Upon graduation, Sullivan worked as a legislative assistant for Senator Gary Hart from 1984 to 1987. After she served as Congressman Nicholas Mavroules' representative to the Armed Services Committee. She also worked on the staff of House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in 1991 and as a senior policy advisor to House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt from 1992 to 1994.[6]

Political career


Sullivan began working as the Special Assistant, the civilian equivalent to the Chief of Staff, to Defense Secretary William Perry in 1994 where she managed the Secretary's relationship with the press corpsthe White House and the United States Congress.[7]

The press debacle during the Somalia operations of the early 1990s,[8] the emergence of the 24-hour news cycle and the widespread adoption of the internet forced the military to alter its interaction with the press corps around military operations.[9] Sullivan and White House advisor David Gergen coordinated the Defense Department and the U.S. military's interaction with the media during the invasion of Haiti.[10][11][12] To protect the lives of U.S. soldiers and ensure the military's strategy was accurately understood by the media, Sullivan coordinated conference calls between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the network bureau chiefs to brief the media on what the military expected to happen each day in Haiti.[13][14]According to the McCormick Tribune Foundation, this more open model of communication between the press and the military is now commonplace.[15]

Sullivan also helped manage the reorganization of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), the agency that provides finance and accounting services for the civil and military members of the Department. In the mid-1990s, the agency allowed municipalities to bid on where the Department would operate DFAS centers. Today, the DFAS operates in 13 cities throughout the United States.[16]

Trade Representative

Sullivan served as the Chief of Staff to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) Charlene Barshefsky from 1996 to 1997.[17] There she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the office and developed negotiation and lobbying strategies for granting China Permanent Normal Trade Relations status, the 1996 Telecommunications Agreement, and the enforcement measures for the Intellectual Trade Agreement of 1996.

Sullivan helped lead the White House’s effort to gain Congressional approval of Permanent Normal Trade Relations(PNTR) status, which had been a contentious issue in Congress for many years.[18] The passage of Congressional legislation granting China PNTR status cleared the final hurdle for China’s accession to the World Trade Organization(WTO) in 2000 and the opening of the country to the world.[19][20] According to the International Monetary Fund, China's GDP has grown at an average rate of 9.9% since being accepted to the WTO.[21]

In her role as Chief of Staff, Sullivan helped manage the USTR office’s role in negotiating the 1996 WTO Telecommunications Agreement which opened worldwide telecommunication markets to competition and set the rules that governed the emerging wireless, cable and fixed-line communications market. The Institute for International Economic estimated the agreement would save consumers $1 trillion by 2010.[22][23][24]

Housing and Urban Development

Sullivan was appointed to Housing and Urban Development Chief of Staff by Secretary Andrew Cuomo in 1997.[25]

In 1997, Sullivan contributed to HUDs effort to stop bad landlords from taking advantage of federal assistance intended for low income housing.[26][27]

In 1998, she served as the Clinton Administration’s Housing & Urban Development west coast representative. There she managed HUD operational activities throughout the California.

Farallon Capital Management

Sullivan served as the Director of Political Risk Analysis for Farallon Capital Management, an investment firm with over $20 billion in aggregate capital, from 2000 to 2011. Farallon was founded by Tom Steyer in 1986.[28] Her role included identifying and tracking market opportunities created by regulatory and legislative changes within state and federal governments. She also managed Farallon's communication strategy.[29]

Political activism

In 2007, Sullivan was part of "The Lincoln Brigade", a Democratic Party task force to kill the California Presidential Electoral College Reform Initiative, a proposed ballot measure that would have appeared on the June 2008 California ballot. The Republican sponsored measure, if passed, would have changed the way California allocates its presidential electoral votes in time for the 2008 presidential election.

She contributed and raised money for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign.[30]

Sullivan was also Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of "No on Proposition 23 Campaign", an effort to save California's clean energy and air pollution control standards, as well as Co-Chair of the Steering Committee of "Californians for Clean Energy Jobs."

Community involvement

Sullivan helped found and then served on the board of an Oakland-based community development bank, OneCalifornia Bank. The Bank functions as a regulated financial institution, but provides commercial banking services to underserved small and medium-size businesses, nonprofits, affordable-housing developers, community facilities, as well as families and individuals in the Bay Area.[31]

Sullivan also served as a Development Advisory Board Member at Casa Teresa, a home for single pregnant women living on welfare.


Sullivan received the Secretary of Defense’s Distinguished Service Award in 1996.[32] She also received the League of Women Voters-Bay Area Chapter's Women of the Year Award in 2011.

Personal life

Sullivan lives in Washington, DC and San Francisco

See also

Farallon Capital Management
Tom Steyer


  1. Jump up^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  2. Jump up^ "CUOMO APPOINTS MARGARET SULLIVAN AS HUD CHIEF OF STAFF". U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 1997-05-04. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  3. Jump up^ "Plum Book". Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Government Reform. 1996. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  4. Jump up^ Marinucci, Carla (2007-10-07). "State Dem group played hardball to kill GOP election system plan". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  5. Jump up^[permanent dead link]
  6. Jump up^ HUD News Release
  7. Jump up^ Marinucci, p1
  8. Jump up^ Goodman, Walter (1992-12-08). "Critic's Notebook; Re Somalia: How Much Did TV Shape Policy?". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  9. Jump up^ Stockwell, David (1995). "Press Coverage in Somalia: A Case for Media Relations to be a Principle of Operations Other Than War". Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  10. Jump up^ Kelly, Michael (1994-10-31). "David Gergen, Master of THE GAME". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  11. Jump up^ Greenhouse, Steven (1994-11-04). "Gergen Has Given White House Formal Resignation, Aides Say". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  12. Jump up^ Sciolino, Elaine (1994-09-20). "MISSION TO HAITI: DIPLOMACY; On the Brink of War, a Tense Battle of Wills". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  13. Jump up^ Carter, Bill (September 18, 1994). "SHOWDOWN WITH HAITI; TV Ready for Battle, With High-Tech Access". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  14. Jump up^ Tierney, John (September 20, 1994). "MISSION TO HAITI: NEWS MEDIA MEDIA WATCH; 'The Press Was Here,' But Not The Enemy". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  15. Jump up^ "The Military-Media Relationship 2005" (PDF). McCormick Tribune Foundation. 2005. Retrieved 2010-09-27. |first1=missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  16. Jump up^ Keating, Edward (September 20, 1994). "Improving the Defense Finance and Accounting Service's Interaction with Its Customers" (PDF). RAND Corporation. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  17. Jump up^ "Plum Book". Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Government Reform. 1996. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  18. Jump up^ Pregelj, Vladimir N. (2001-06-07). "Most-Favored-Nation Status of the People's Republic of China" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 2009-08-13.
  19. Jump up^ "THE CHINA TRADE VOTE; Roll-Call on China Trade". New York Times. 2000-05-26. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  20. Jump up^ Lardy, Nicholas (2000-05-01). "Permanent Normal Trade Relations for China" (PDF). Brookings Institution. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  21. Jump up^ "World Economic Outlook Database". International Monetary Fund. 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  22. Jump up^ Andrews, Edmund (February 16, 1997). "68 NATIONS AGREE TO WIDEN MARKETS IN COMMUNICATIONS". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-27.
  23. Jump up^ "Unofficial Transcript: Barshefsky on WTO Ministerial". 1996. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  24. Jump up^ HUD News Release
  25. Jump up^
  26. Jump up^ "HUD TELLS BAD LANDLORDS: YOUR LEASE IS UP". United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. 1997-04-25. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  27. Jump up^ Janofsky, Michael (1997-04-25). "HUD Suspends Lax Landlord Of Thousands". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  28. Jump up^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2010-10-07.
  29. Jump up^[permanent dead link]
  30. Jump up^ Huffington Post Missing or empty |title= (help)
  31. Jump up^
  32. Jump up^[permanent dead link]



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