The Democratic Party tries to push a bipartisan image by inviting Republicans such as pushover former Ohio Governor John Kasich and former Google lobbyist Susan Molinari to speak at the Democratic National Convention.
Former congresswoman for the state of New York Susan Molinari is slated to speak tonight at the Democratic National Convention at Milwaukee, CBS has reported August 17. Molinari had previously served as Google's Vice President of Public Policy for the Americas and head of its D.C. office. The New York Times summarized that Molinari was “paid handsomely to broaden the tech giant’s support beyond Silicon Valley Democrats and to lavish money and attention on selected Republicans.”
The Times carefully noted that Molinari wielded impressive power in Big Tech during the 2010’s:
“To fight off the now constant scrutiny of Google as a behemoth monopoly that reaches far into people’s personal lives, Ms. Molinari has aggressively courted lawmakers and federal regulators as she has managed a Google effort that spent a record $18.2 million on lobbying in 2012.”
The Times followed by explaining that she pushed congress on a variety of issues in order to aid Google’s interests “like a proposed overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws.” In 2013 she also worked with Google’s legal team “to help fend off an antitrust lawsuit after a two-year investigation of the company by the Federal Trade Commission.”
Axios observed that even after Molinari stepped down from her role in 2018, she, “In a new role,” would continue to “advise the company on building external relationships.”
Molinari currently serves on APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council. APCO describes itself as “an advisory and advocacy communications consultancy, which purports itself to be “an independent and majority women-owned business.”
The American Prospect summarized “Molinari will speak at the convention tonight, along with two other Republican luminaries, as Biden attempts to display a united front in opposition to Donald Trump.” The article made note that Molinari’s involvement with the Democratic convention “recalls the extremely close relationship between the company [Google] and the Obama administration.” The American Prospect then recalled how:
“During Obama’s two terms, members of his administration met with Google representatives more than once a week, on average. And nearly 250 people moved from government service to Google employment, or vice versa, over that period."
This is not the first case where Big Tech insiders appear eerily cozy with the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Biden’s campaign.
The Times released a report criticizing how “his campaign and transition teams have welcomed allies of Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple onto its staff and policy groups.” There’s also concern that Big Tech may be trying to “co-opt a potential Biden administration.”
The Times allegedly obtained a list of rules sent out to groups advising the campaign explicitly telling them: “Simply put, do not talk to the press,” a fact that lends itself to the notion that the campaign would rather these ties be kept under wraps.