Monday, April 21, 2014

Napster Billionaire Wants to Make Government More Efficient

Yet, one more Silicon Valley operator who needs to read  Bureaucracy. Government efficiency is a contradiction in terms. Government is about power and factions fighting for power. It's a good thing we don't have efficiency in government, it would only mean clear sailing government power. (Also note that this is the second time in two days that Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer name has shown up relative to a crony capitalism story. SEE: Overflow Crowd for Obama in Sillcon Valley)

Politico reports:
By any standard, Sean Parker is a very cool donor indeed. And this year, the 34-year-old co-founder of Napster is poised to
bring his considerable fortune into the political world with fresh intensity, retaining advisers to bring new focus and sophistication to his political enterprises and preparing to make a significant investment in the 2014 election cycle.

Known primarily as a bad-boy file-sharing guru and defined in the public mind by Justin Timberlake’s frenetic 2010 portrayal in “The Social Network” (“A million dollars isn’t cool,” Timberlake’s character memorably said) Parker has dabbled in the political world for half a decade now.
If the exact direction of Parker’s new push into politics is still taking shape, he is already working actively to build new and stronger political relationships. He has met privately in recent months with some starkly different politicians, huddling with both Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, the libertarian-leaning GOP presidential hopeful, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the populist progressive Democrat. He is eyeing a range of 2014 elections to get involved in and has spoken with former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist about his party-switching comeback bid.

This week, Parker will co-host a San Francisco fundraiser for state Attorney General Kamala Harris, along with Silicon Valley super-elites such as Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer, Laurene Powell Jobs and uber-investors Ron Conway, Marc Benioff and John Doerr.

On the operational side, Parker has hired Chris Garland, who recently stepped down as chief of staff to California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, to work in a political director role. The former Facebook president is conferring with national strategists about his political engagement. Among his advisers is Addisu Demissie, who managed New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s 2013 campaign and now heads up the West Coast office of the Messina Group, the consulting firm founded by President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager.

Parker’s allies say that his political goals remain broadly defined: Unlike other politically-inclined billionaires, such as the conservative Koch brothers and liberal environmentalist Tom Steyer, Parker hopes to avoid a purely partisan role as he ventures more deeply into politics.
Having donated almost exclusively to Democrats up to this point, Parker made a trip to Washington in December for the purpose of meeting quietly with Republican officeholders and strategists around town. He plans to donate to both sides starting this year, associates say, for the first time committing big sums to aid Republicans he views as credible deal-makers in a bitterly divided Congress.
There are specific issues Parker cares about, including immigration reform and investments in urban development and medical research. Like many in the tech world, he shares a set of liberal social values and, one Parker friend said, cares less about his personal tax rate than in making sure government operates efficiently.
At least for now, the Silicon Valley billionaire is primarily interested in fixing what he views as a broken political process, promoting voter engagement and supporting politicians who work across the aisle — all goals far easier to state than to accomplish.


  1. He's a genius (and by genius, I mean idiot).

  2. Yes, the new Tech-VC model is to cozy up to govt. interests. Elon Musk has successfully done this with Tesla, Space-X. The crypto currency crowd (read Bitcoin and other offshoots), are trying to do the same recently establishing DATA (Digital Asset Transfer Authority), The Bitcoin Foundation (they need “a Foundation”?) or putting politically connected advisers on their boards. The Bitcoin startups with serious money behind them are headed up by some of the most politically correct, pro-regulation individuals I have ever seen. They know this is what butters their bread. What's funny, at the height of the late 90's Internet boom I remember speaking to a famous Silicon Valley entrepreneur that had cashed out of a well known company, relocated to Austin, Texas and asked him if he felt it relevant to seek Federal contracts, political connections, etc. At that time he saw no need, however today I see no way he would have a similar life view. My times have changed.

  3. "...wants to make government more efficient." LOL!

    Efficient at what? Fucking things up faster?