Google Fires Podesta Lobbying Group Shortly After Hiring Eric Braverman; Coincidence?
In the wake of her staggering defeat last November, several historically large contributors to the Clinton Foundation slashed their donations (see here and here), presumably because they either realized their pay-for-play scam was ruined or they suddenly lost interest in the Foundation’s various charitable efforts…we’ll let you decide which is more likely.
But, the Clinton Foundation isn’t the only “influence peddler” taking a hit as a result of Hillary’s loss. According to Bloomberg, The Podesta Group, the lobbying firm run by the brother of Hillary’s former campaign manager, John Podesta, has just lost a lucrative contract with Google, a key Hillary ally throughout the 2016 campaign.
After at least 12 years together, Alphabet Inc., the parent of Google, won’t be represented by one of Washington’s most prominent lobbying groups, a firm with long-standing ties to the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton.
The Podesta Group — whose chairman, Tony Podesta, is a major Democratic fundraiser and the brother of Clinton’s former campaign manager — is no longer lobbying on behalf of Google, public disclosures show. The change coincided with Google’s bid to hire someone for “conservative outreach,” according to a December job advertisement.
Per Bloomberg, The Podesta Group collected $80,000 in fees from Google in the last 3 months of 2016 alone.
But, the story doesn’t end there. Ironically, the firing of The Podesta Group seems to coincide with an exclusive report from the Silicon Valley Business Journal that Eric Braverman, the former Clinton Foundation CEO, had been hired to “oversee the non-investment side of the family office of Alphabet Inc. Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and his wife, Wendy.”
Of course, as many of our readers will remember, Braverman is the Clinton Foundation CEO who abruptly resigned after a short period in office and was speculated, at least by John Podesta and Neera Tanden, to be the insider who told NBC to “follow the money and find the real HRC scandal” (see “Meet The Man Who Can Expose ‘The Real Hillary Clinton Scandal’“). Here is an excerpt of what we previously wrote:
Now, new WikiLeaks emails reveal additional details behind the the man, Eric Braverman, who was brought in as CEO by Chelsea to change the controversial practices of the Foundation but abruptly resigned a short time later after being pushed out by long-time Clinton loyalists who had apparently grown very comfortable with the status quo.
Below is the new email exchange which begins when Neera Tanden warns John Podesta to “keep tabs on Doug Band” who she assumed was the insider who told NBC to “follow the money and find the real HRC scandal.” Interestingly, John Podesta writes back quickly to identify the real source as former Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman which seems to be shocking to Tanden who replies simply, “Holy Moses.”
That said, the announcement also follows a recent Google job listing looking for a new “Conservative Outreach Manager” that would act as a “liaison to conservative, libertarian and free market groups” (see “Google Searches For “Conservative Outreach Manager” After Failing To Elect Hillary“).
As a member of Google’s Public Policy team, you help shape various product and issue agendas with policy makers inside and outside government. In addition, you will help advise our internal teams on the public policy implications of their products, working with a closely coordinated and cross-functional global team. The role requires significant experience either working with or in government, politics or a regulatory agency as well as an ability to grasp complex technical and policy issues.
As a member of Google’s Public Policy outreach team, you will act as Google’s liaison to conservative, libertarian and free market groups. You are part organizer, part advocate and part policy wonk as you understand the world of third-party non-governmental advocacy organizations. You are eager to represent Google among those organizations. You can work a room, tell Google’s story in an elevator or from a podium and work with partner organizations on shared projects to advance Google’s public policy goals.
So, what say you…innocent shift in Google’s lobbying effort to target a new Republican administration or sweet retribution for Eric Braverman? Bit of both?
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