From the Book of St. Jesse of Unruh

If you can’t take their money, drink their booze, screw their women and look them in the eye and vote against them, you don’t belong here.

—Jesse Unruh, former Speaker of the California Assembly and State Treasurer

I could not help but reflect on Unruh’s quote when I read Politico wringing its hands over Elizabeth Warren getting thousands of dollars in Silicon Valley and then calling for the Breakup of Amazon, Google, and Facebook.

While I still favor Bernie Sanders, I have to say that Elizabeth Warren has taken Jesse Unruh’s advice to heart, and I approve:

While Sen. Elizabeth Warren was railing against big tech companies, she was taking their money — plenty of it.

The Massachusetts Democrat, who is powering her presidential campaign with a bold proposal to break up the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook, in September accepted a $2,700 contribution from Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer. But Sandberg, whose donation went unnoticed at the time, was just the biggest name from Silicon Valley to give to the senator: Warren took at least $90,000 from employees of Amazon, Google and Facebook alone between 2011 and 2018.

The figure includes only donors who gave at least $200 over either of her two Senate campaigns; and just those who listed their employer. Warren is carrying over millions of dollars she raised for the Senate in the last cycle to her 2020 presidential run.

While the donations flowed to Warren’s committee, she was accusing Google, Amazon as well as Apple of using their powerful platforms to “lock out smaller guys and newer guys,” including direct competitors. She’s also criticized the huge sums Silicon Valley firms spend on federal lobbying and taken on Amazon and others over their treatment of workers.

Now, Warren has put the trust-busting message front and center in her presidential campaign. In a blog post last week, which she repeatedly referred to at the tech industry conference South by South last weekend in Austin, Texas, Warren called for unwinding Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp and Instagram; Amazon’s consumption of Whole Foods and Zappos; and Google’s takeovers of Waze, Nest and DoubleClick. Warren later confirmed that her plan would apply to Apple, the biggest player in tech and one of the world’s biggest companies.

“Either they run the platform or they play in the store,” she said over the weekend. “They don’t get to do both at the same time.”

I approve.

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