Elizabeth Warren isn’t doing the political events that her candidates are in order to fundraise. She’s all about the grassroots and taking donations online.
She’s tech-savvy, even though she has it out for tech giants like Apple, Facebook, and others. She’s said on many occasions that one of her first acts as President, if elected, would be to tear the tech giants apart to ensure they don’t have too much power.
With threats like that, it’s curious as to how she continues to rake in donations from employees at these tech giants.
According to fundraising disclosures filed by Elizabeth Warren’s campaign, $248,000 was brought in during the third quarter from employees belonging to Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Google.
A total of $24.6 million was raised in total in the third quarter, which is second only to Bernie Sanders among the various Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential nomination.
Many of the tech industry donors were white-collar professionals, providing donations anywhere between $20 and $615 to Elizabeth Warren. Over two dozen employees from Amazon donated, with titles of “manager” to “vice president.”
When the Massachusetts senator is constantly criticizing major tech firms saying that they need to be broken up in order to increase competition and fairness in the marketplace, it begs the question of why these people are continuing to donate if they know that their job could be in jeopardy.
Elizabeth Warren has already chosen to separate herself from those who have different ideals than she does, promising not to accept contributions from certain government contractors. Now, she has done the same for Silicon Valley.
She promises to not take contributions over $200 from executives at any of the big tech companies, private equity firms, big banks, or hedge funds. She has said that her campaign will return donations from anyone who fits that mold.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, has been caught on audio saying that he will mount a legal challenge if the Warren administration tries to break up Facebook. He has said “you go to the mat and you fight” if someone is going to threaten the company at such an existential level.
$41,000 was donated to Warren’s campaign from Facebook employees during the third quarter – which finished just days before Zuckerberg’s comments when public.
If Warren is going to keep her promise, she is going to have to return quite a bit of donations since many are over the $200 mark. Much of it will depend greatly on what her definition of “executive” is.
There are a lot of questions surrounding all of these donations, however. Either the tech giants don’t believe Warren will actually break up the companies or they are trying to donate to her fund in order to support her with the idea of keeping friends close and enemies closer.
Maybe these employees feel as though if they can get Warren elected, they can convince her that these tech giants are actually better off staying as powerful as they are.
Plenty of other Democratic candidates are talking about the tech giants and what should be done about them. While Warren is the most outspoken, Pete Buttigieg has talked about anti-competitive behavior and the need to provide a higher level of regulation.
However, he hasn’t declared whether or not some of the companies should be broken up. He believes in due process.
Additionally, antitrust enforcement is something that Republicans and Democrats alike have agreed on – becoming a bipartisan issue.
Buttigieg was also quick to point out that Amazon didn’t pay any money in federal income taxes in 2018 when they brought in an $11.2 billion profit. He wants to know how Amazon was able to pay less than income taxes than he did.
However, he’s also quick to say that many of the tech companies are Monopoly pieces as opposed to monopolies.
It looks as though many of the tech companies are looking to buy their way into Warren’s good graces. However, with her talking about returning their donations, it’s clear that she doesn’t want it – and that she’s confident enough in her platform that she can get plenty of donations without taking from any of the executives who work at the tech giants she is focusing on destroying.
The tech giants might be between a rock and a hard place at this point. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done with the big companies, especially as it pertains to data privacy and data security.
When both the Republicans and the Democrats are talking about it, there’s nowhere for them to hide. They might as well save their money, though, because Warren doesn’t even want their donations.