A wake-up call for Ron Conway

By Marco Gonzales : 48hills – excerpt

Protesters show up at tech mogul’s front door to highlight pay-to-play politics

SEPTEMBER 17, 2015 — Wake up Mr. Conway! It’s seven in the morning, and dozens of protesters are at your doorstep.

A coalition of community and labor groups rallied outside of tech investor Ron Conway’s residence at the Four Seasons on Market St. in the wake of a new pay-to-play politics report published by Jobs with Justice.

The 60-page report highlights the tech industries overall $3.6 million in contributions to political campaigns in San Francisco between 2004 and 2015. According to the report, Conway donated 26% of all tech contributions in that time period.

The city official receiving the most out of these monetary political donations was Mayor Ed Lee, who collected ten times more money ($427,625) from the tech industry during his tenure as mayor than his predecessor Gavin Newsom brought in.

Many long time San Francisco residences see Lee’s giant intake of tech industry money as a culture shift skewed toward private interests at City Hall…

The money doesn’t stop at political donations. The report also notes payments made by tech moguls “At the Behest” of city officials, where politicians request wealthy individuals or companies to donate, at the behest of the official, to a local organization, charity or nonprofit.

“It’s a way for companies to give favors to officials,” Kung Feng, a report contributor and spokesperson for Jobs with Justice, said. “That company gets influence and positive good will with the official. Unlike political donations, which are limited, these behest payments you can do as much as you want.”… (more)


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