Republicans hesitate, then subpoena Facebook, Twitter CEOs over pro-Biden censorship
WASHINGTON, D.C., October 24, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to issue subpoenas to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey over allegations of censorship.
The social media giant had engaged in the “suppression and/or censorship” of bombshell reports by the New York Post charging members of the Biden Family with significant financial corruption — allegations which could serve to hurt Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s presidential run.
The vote comes following promises made on October 15th during the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett, but was postponed on Monday “after some panel Republicans expressed reservation,” Politico reported.
Alarming concerns have been growing among conservatives about the enormous power of Big Tech companies over discourse in the public square, and their resulting interference in the election process. Conservatives have seen their publications and news reports suppressed by tech giants like Facebook and Twitter, but also Google, which owns the streaming platform YouTube.
In one interview, Harmeet Dhillon, an American lawyer and Republican Party official, warned GOP leadership of inaction. “Republicans are ignoring this at their peril … we are going to lose every single election going forward if we don’t put a stop to this bias,” she said.
Striving to understand general Republican inaction, or incompetence, on this fundamental threat to their short- and long-term interests, Dhillon expressed concerns about “Republicans being paid off by Big Tech” or those GOP members who are simply “ill-informed.”
A quick analysis of campaign contributions reveals, first, a heavy bias of Big Tech communities and their PACs in favor of the liberal agenda.
Secondly, it shows a possible correlation between financial donations to some Republicans, particularly those on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and their apparent hesitation to engage the threat to free speech with force and urgency.
As of October 15th, donations from Alphabet (Google), for example, have flowed into the coffers of Democrats at a rate of 93.81% as compared to 6.61% for Republicans. Individual employees or owners of Alphabet, and their immediate family, have donated almost $1.9 million to the Biden campaign, and less than $45,000 to the Trump campaign.
The same holds true for other tech giants including Twitter, which provides 99.18% of its contributions to Democrats and a whopping 0.82% to Republicans. Facebook, also subject to yesterday’s senate committee subpoena, posts similar numbers coming in at 91.75% for Democrats and 8.25% for Republicans.
All of this serves to establish a reasonable political motive on the part of these corporations to — as expressed by Sens. Hawley and Cruz — “rig an election” through interference “in a way that has no precedent in the history of our country.”
The campaign contribution numbers also give some indications of where big tech money may be influencing Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, for better or for worse, including those who may have hesitated and “expressed reservation” postponing the subpoena process earlier this week.
Big Tech companies are not listed anywhere in Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) top one hundred contributing organizations, for instance, and his record shows he has been zealously opposing censorship of conservatives in the public square.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who has also shown committed leadership on this issue, has received only one PAC contribution of $7,500 from Microsoft this cycle.
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) received only $2,700 from individuals associated with Amazon, and Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) received only $10,000 from PACs associated with Microsoft and Amazon.
The contributions to some other Republican senators on the committee, however, show why there may be hesitation to engage the threat of Big Tech censorship.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) comes in with a combined $138,677 in donations this cycle, with Microsoft being his eighth largest contributor overall.
Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) seconds Lee at $120,048, including $23,800 from Facebook, and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) comes in third with $92,155, including a $20,000 PAC donation from Facebook.
For Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE), his total Big Tech donations amount to $79,950, with Google being his 17th largest donor, and Microsoft his 24th.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has received $57,950, and Google remains his eighth largest donor.
Finally, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has received $47,320, Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) $32,082, and Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) $17,500, with Microsoft being her fourth largest contributor.
In 2015, then-candidate Donald Trump explained how campaign donations work. “I gave to many people [politicians] … I give to everybody,” he said. “When they call, I give. And do you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me. And that’s a broken system.”