Sources have told the Chicago Tribune that Google’s Eric Schmidt was seen dining with Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign manager Jim Messina at Café Spiaggia in Chicago last week providing further evidence of Google incestuous relationship with the Administration.
Democratic sources told the Tribune that the dinner was “part of the Obama team wooing and coordinating with the tech world.” In the case of Google, we are confident it was more about coordinating than wooing.
Google and the president are well beyond the wooing stage of a relationship. Schmidt has been named a potential nominee to fill the vacated Secretary of Commerce position. Such a nomination would cement Google’s influence over the Administration – a relationship that has put the company in a position to steer policy and taxpayer funded contracts back into the pockets of Google executives who have funded the president since his initial foray into the presidential arena in 2007.
In 2008, Politico detailed the relationship between the newly elected president and the company. “‘ From the staff attorney all the way up the line, everybody now knows that Google is close to Obama,'” Politico reported. “And that could subtly affect the policy playing field in Google’s favor.” Subtly was an understatement.
The group Consumer Watchdog has detailed some of the way Google has benefited from their relationship with the Obama Administration, including how NASA’s Moffett Airfield has been turned into a subsidized private airport for Google executives. But that is just crumbs off the government largess table. Google has received contracts from NASA, the NSA and other government agencies. At the same time, they have placed key people in policy positions in the White House.
Conservatives have little qualm with companies that are successful, hence some reservation about efforts to call for anti-trust review of the behemoth. However, Google isn’t running away from the government – it is running to the government with arms wide open. They are seeking contracts, policy bailouts and taxpayer support to help beef up their bottom line. This spigot of taxpayer support for the company needs to be cut off and conservatives need to lead the charge.