American Principles Project Warns Republican Lawmakers About Conservative Groups Funded by Big Tech

An illustration picture taken in London on December 18, 2020 shows the logos of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft displayed on a mobile phone and a laptop screen. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

The American Principles Project (APP) sent a letter to Republican lawmakers and staff Monday warning them about the dangers of working with conservative groups funded by big tech.

Jon Schweppe, the director of policy and government affairs for the APP, wrote to GOP lawmakers and their staff about how he is “deeply concerned” about the effort of big tech and their allies to influence conservative public policy.

NBC News reported in July 2019 that many “supposedly libertarian” and conservative organizations have been funded by big tech companies such as Google and Facebook.

In its own words, Google provides “substantial funding” to the R Street Institute, Tech Freedom, and AEI. The search giant also donates to National Review.

Google, as well as Facebook, backs the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Schweppe also noted that Washington Monthly profiled the rise of the Alliance for Antitrust, which is “dedicated to pushing a pro-monopoly line on Republicans” for policy surrounding big tech.

The APP policy director said taking meetings with groups funded by big tech amounts to the same as a meeting with Google and Facebook.

He wrote:

While it is prudent to hear arguments about public policy made in good faith, it is foolish to ignore the presence of private financial interests. Make no mistake, a meeting with an organization that takes notable sums of money from Google is no different than a meeting with a member of Google’s Public Policy team. In far too many cases, the agenda of such organizations will be wholly compromised, singularly reflecting the agenda of their Big Tech patrons.

Schweppe contended much of big tech’s influence comes from its funding of conservative groups to “corrupt Republicans.”

He continued:

Unfortunately, we must now conclude that the sheer effectiveness of Big Tech’s rending of the Constitution has been at least in part due to its ability to corrupt certain Republicans. Each and every year, Big Tech is spending incalculable sums of money to launder its worldview, one that sacrifices American sovereignty and eliminates individual rights, through a network of seemingly disinterested “conservative” advocacy groups. Alas, it is hardly surprising then that as the threats to free speech online have grown, so too have the checks written by Big Tech.

“Conservative voters are demanding action to address the domineering power of Big Tech in the halls of power,” he concluded. “We must not let these corporations drive the agenda any longer, for they are ceaselessly undercutting the values and aspirations of the American people.”

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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