Reacting to reports that Google is seeking to hire a “liaison to conservative, libertarian and free market groups,” NLPC President Peter Flaherty urged potential applicants to forget about the job. According to Flaherty:
“Google will pay very well and the benefits will be wonderful, but any conservative who takes this job will have to sell his or her soul. Anyone with an ounce of personal integrity should not even consider it.”
“Google is not trying to hire a free-market advocate because it suddenly believes in free markets. It is a monopoly and it intends to stay that way. Google wants to buy off and defuse critics who have been emboldened by the election of Donald Trump.”
“There is no, new conservative-friendly Google. The company’s plan to hire a conservative liaison and more Republican lobbyists is a continuation of Washington business as usual that Trump ran against.”
“Google’s influence permeated the Obama administration, particularly in its ‘capture’ of its regulators. As we sought to publicize at the time, the Federal Trade Commission, and its Chair Edith Ramirez, appeared to take its direction from Google in squelching an anti-trust investigation that was recommended by its staff.”
“Any conservative or libertarian who takes a job with Google will be automatically suspect. I call on all the leaders of all right-of-center groups to rebuff Google until there is serious change in the orientation of the company, starting with ending the censorship of conservatives in search results.”
“Google and a handful of Bay Area companies now control the flow of online news, as more and more Americans get their news online instead of through newspapers or television. As a result, Silicon Valley is exerting ever-increasing control over politics and the government, notwithstanding Trump’s election.”
“Big Tech’s newfound political power, coupled with the hoard of personal information that these same companies compile on every American, is particularly dangerous for conservatives. No one in the conservative movement should contribute to this problem by fronting for Google.”
Last week, we sent President-elect Trump a letter warning him about the influence of Silicon Valley in advance of his meeting today with tech executives.
Except for PayPal founder Peter Theil, Silicon Valley billionaires opposed Trump’s election. Most prominent was Google’s Eric Schmidt, who was photographed election night with a “Staff” badge at Hillary’s “victory” party.
Our letter was prompted by a November 30 letter sent by tech giants to Trump urging him to adopt their policy preferences and to appoint their allies to important government posts. We ask Trump to “take their self-serving recommendations with a grain of salt.”
We provide a number of very specific warnings to Trump about the involvement of these companies with the federal government, including an account of the disastrous 18F partnership with the General Services Administration. We also specify how the priorities of Silicon Valley plutocrats are often in conflict with the interests of the middle class on issues like immigration.
NLPC has been a critic of the Obama administration’s close and often improper relationship with tech companies. Former Google executive Andrew McLaughlin resigned from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) after we demanded that he do so. Our letter to Trump describes how OSTP became little more than a lounge in the White House for Google lobbyists.