Robert Reich: One Billionaire Backer Of The Insurrection Answers Me – OpEd


In a recent article, I asked the billionaires who are bankrolling candidates who have tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election how they rationalize spending their fortunes financing insurrection.

I specifically included Peter Thiel, Stephen Schwarzman, Steve Wynn, Patrick Byrne, and Ken Griffin in my question.

Ken Griffin, the multi-billion-dollar CEO of the hedge fund Citadel, is the only one to respond so far — yesterday, in a tart letter to the Guardian (where I had subsequently published my post). 

His arguments: (1) His campaign contributions are “principled” because he “proudly” spends his money to support politicians whose ideas “will secure a better future for America” – and he “encourages others to do the same,” and (2) the Democratic party has given generous support to Maga Republican candidates to defeat moderate Republican candidates, which is “hypocritical and cynical.”

This is a bit like the captain of the Titanic criticizing the iceberg.

Mr. Griffin, when you say your campaign contributions are “principled,” what principle are you referring to?

You’ve poured millions into the campaigns of people who refused to certify the 2020 election — including Florida Senator Rick Scott, and Reps. Mike Bost of Illinois, Nicole Malliotakis of New York, Devin Nunes and Darrell Issa from California and Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma.

What makes you think these people will “secure a better future for America” when they wouldn’t certify an election, based on nothing other than their political party’s preference?

You were the only donor to a $3.5 million group backing defeated Rep. Rodney Davis in his GOP primary. Davis refused to participate in the January 6 committee because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had rejected two of his most extreme Republican colleagues.

On what “principle” was Davis worth $3.5 million from you?

Please don’t claim that “others can do the same” as you when it comes to flooding American politics with money.

You’re worth $29.8 billion.

You’re the single biggest spender in Republican politics. Last year, you pumped more than $28 million into the GOP, and you’re expected to multiply that number leading into November’s midterms.

I don’t approve of the Democratic party giving financial support to extreme Maga Republican candidates, but that’s irrelevant to my point.

I’m talking about billionaires like you, who continue to finance Trump’s insurrection.

You’re part of this. You still haven’t justified why you’re spending your fortune this way. Please get back to me as soon as you can.

Robert Reich

Robert B. Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, and writes at Reich served as Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, for which Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the twentieth century. He has written fifteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock", "The Work of Nations," and"Beyond Outrage," and, his most recent, "The Common Good," which is available in bookstores now. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, chairman of Common Cause, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and co-creator of the award-winning documentary, "Inequality For All." He's co-creator of the Netflix original documentary "Saving Capitalism," which is streaming now.

One thought on “Robert Reich: One Billionaire Backer Of The Insurrection Answers Me – OpEd

  • September 30, 2022 at 12:21 pm

    Short answer to your quest from a non-billionaire: Making lots of money and intelligence aren’t corollaries. Money makers often know one thing well and leverage it with considerable bullshit. That’s the other reason you wont get a straight answer.


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