More than 80 former Chuck Schumer employees work for Big Tech

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s extensive ties to big tech companies have raised the specter of the powerful Democrat blocking much-needed antitrust legislation that his party is pushing.

More than 80 former salaried employees of the New York lawmaker have used their time with Schumer to secure prestigious jobs, working directly with companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple, according to data collected for The Post.

Information was collected from publicly available filings of congressional employees on LegiStorm – an online repository of data about congressional employees and their compensation.

The analysis reviewed nearly 600 former paid Schumer employees over the past 20 years, and reviewed their employment history with other publicly available information — including lobbyist registrations, LinkedIn profiles and company websites — to determine their Big Tech links.

The data comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in January to go ahead with the US Internet Innovation and Choice Act and the Open Market Applications Act — but await Schumer’s green light for a full Senate vote.

More than 80 paid Schumer employees have gone on to work in Big Tech roles.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

“Schumer doesn’t want to put the bills on the floor,” Matt Stoller, an antitrust expert and director of research for the American Economic Freedoms Project, told The Post. “If you put them on the floor, they will pass — if you want to repeal this legislation without being public, just block it from being brought to a vote.”

The Post was the first to report that Schumer’s two daughters are on the payroll of the companies Schumer is supposed to organize. And the group of employees who worked alongside Schumer during his many years in Congress only adds to Schumer’s perceived conflict of interest when it comes to cracking down on big tech companies.

Jessica Schumer is a registered Amazon lobbyist, according to New York State Records. Alison Schumer works at Facebook as Director of Product Marketing.

Schumer’s office provided The Post with a list of the various actions the senator has taken to protect consumers. They also point out that anti-big business Commissioner Becca Kelly Slaughter is a former Schumer employee.

If The Post wants to publish a story about some “list” related to Senator Schumer and technology, start with the list I have provided detailing endless consumer gains, tough antitrust policies and legislative actions that challenge, refute, and dispel any notion of “external influence.” Schumer spokesperson Angelo Ruffaro said.

The Senate Majority Leader has also been dealing with a busy legislative calendar: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court, Ukraine funding, and most recently the attempt to legalize abortion rights.

Schumer has just made good on his promise to secure confirmation by anti-tech progressive Alvaro Bedoya as the FTC’s fifth commissioner — giving President Lina Khan the majority she needs to control tech companies.

In a statement, the senator said the FTC could begin “to crack down on companies of bad actors… using anticompetitive practices.”

Jeff Bezos
Former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos testified about Amazon before Congress.
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But others point out that Schumer may be dragging his feet on bringing bills to the ground as the midterms approach and that he doesn’t want to upset the feathers of his big tech donors — some of whom have been criticized for suppressing free speech and monopoly work.

While employees of Google and the company’s PAC have donated about $200,000 to Schumer this election cycle according to public filings, the vast majority of donations to Schumer come from dark money — making it difficult to trace the donors.

“Schumer is the only person standing in the way of partisan legislation regulating Google, Apple and Amazon,” a former Senate employee told The Post. “Given the employees who work at Big Tech and the money he has raised from Big Tech, there are deep concerns about why he hasn’t moved these bills forward.”

The Internet Innovation and Choice Act – or the so-called “Non-Discrimination Act” – would prevent platforms from “self-favoring” their content. For example, Amazon will no longer be able to promote its content to third-party sellers on its e-commerce platform.

The Open Marketplace Apps Act will attempt to reduce Apple and Google’s monopoly on app makers by giving developers more rights such as allowing them to use their own payment processor and allowing them to contact users directly with various offerings.

Chuck Schumer
Senator Schumer just appointed Progressive Commissioner Bedoya to the Federal Trade Commission.
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While many government employees are leaving the federal payroll in search of greener pastures, the broad group of employees leaving Schumer’s office for jobs at Big Tech is unique, sources told The Post. They added that these former aides have a significant impact on politics now that Schumer has become the most powerful man in the Senate.

“This is definitely a focus,” Jeff Hauser, founder and director of the revolving door project says of the huge number of employees going into big tech jobs.

Hauser suggests that David Huntmann — a former chief of staff for Schumer who held a senior position at Yahoo and Airbnb before opening his own tech lobby, and whose wife was Google’s first internal lobbyist — may have been “a radical pull factor” when it came to employees who follow technical jobs.

According to sources, Schumer considered Hantman’s nomination for a commissioner role on the Federal Trade Commission, but pulled the plug amid fears he would receive too much backlash.

Schumer has other notable alumni with deep connections to big technology.

chuck schumer girls
Schumer’s two daughters are on Big Tech’s payroll.
Senator Chuck Schumer / Facebook

Stephanie Martz was Schumer’s senior advisor for five years before taking a lobbying job at Monument Policy Group where she lobbied for Amazon and Google.

Marisa Hawley, who worked with Schumer from 2019 to 2021, is now a lobbyist for the Information Technology Industry Council, which works on behalf of clients including Google and Amazon.

Daniel Kedra worked as an assistant from 2006 to 2008 before becoming a lobbyist. Lobbying on behalf of the Meta from 2018 to 2021.

Hauser explains that employees who take on jobs to push for technology don’t really leave the nest. In fact, they return to feed the young legislature birds with information guiding Schumer’s policy.

“As Congressional staff wanes, junior staffers are relying on corporate lobbyists for research,” notes Hauser. “It’s hard to be skeptical of claims when they come from former friends and colleagues.”

Hauser adds that most employees rely heavily on alumni networks for information about issues in their current roles — as well as to help land a job when they leave Capitol Hill.

Hauser adds: “Hill networks are very powerful and people are looking out for each other…the fact that so many people become lobbyists creates downsides.”

To be sure, many of Schumer’s closest aides have been with him for decades.

“There are people who have stuck with him for years – and his close circle of speed dial. These relationships only come decades later,” a source told the newspaper.

As recently as 2018, Schumer said he was “sympathetic” and was “very nice” to tech companies. Schumer also described Facebook as a “very positive force” and an “antidote” to the far right.

“I suspect [Schumer’s staff] “It might be understating how bad the optics about conflicts of interest are if he doesn’t put the antitrust bills to a vote,” one of Schumer’s former aides told The Post.

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