EXPOSED: Google’s Go-To ‘Conservative’ Influencer List Who Claim ‘Big Tech Bias Is a Good Thing’


The National Pulse is today publishing a previously undisclosed “go to” list of “conservative” influencers that Big Tech firm Google uses to influence the political dynamics in Washington, D.C.

As the battle over Big Tech rages in Western capitals, The National Pulse was provided with an exclusive leak of the list of think tanks and activists who Google lobbyist Max Pappas reached out to on the back of the Federalist/Zero Hedge demonetization story.

Pappas – hired by Google in 2017 – took Google’s damage control messaging to nearly 100 influential figures on the right on Tuesday night.

The email from lobbyist Max Pappas, the email addresses have been redacted. The full list of names is at the bottom of this page.

The list (at the bottom of this article) includes key conservative influencers from major think tanks and publications – some of whom are believed to be beneficiaries of large Google donations.

Featured in the list are high-profile “conservative” organizations which solicit conservatives in the public for donations, all the while promoting Big Tech talking points, and/or taking grants from Big Tech companies which continue to censor conservatives online.

The Heritage Foundation, the CATO Institute, Americans for Tax Reform, R Street, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and more were named. The National Pulse reached out to both Google and Max Pappas before publication, though neither responded to our queries.

Some of these same influencers haven taken to social media in the past 24 hours to defend Google, or draw attention to the Google talking points on the back of the demonetization story.

The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) visiting scholar Mark Jamison tweeted ahead of the news an op-ed entitled “Big Tech is biased… and that’s a good thing”.

Jamison’s colleague at AEI, James Pethokoukis, appears to have taken his marching orders from Pappas’s email, hurriedly publishing an article on the AEI website endorsing Google’s actions, and claiming that “the ongoing conservative alarm about anti-conserative [sic] bias by America’s tech titans continues to fail that test [of reality]”.

In fact, Big Tech’s bias against conservatives is well documented.

Julian Sanchez – a CATO and Reason magazine contributor – stated “only conservative sites whine publicly about it, because other sites aren’t nursing a martyr complex”:

CATO’s Matthew Feeney – director of the think-tank’s “Emerging Technologies” project – used the opportunity to attack Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Senator Tom Cotton, while defending Google:

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)’s Patrick Hedger, also a writer for the NeverTrump blog The Bulwark, took to the CEI website to defend a multitude of Big Tech companies.

He claims, despite evident monopolistic practices in the Big Tech sector: “these companies compete with one another in some way, suggesting that competition in the broader tech sector remains robust and lacking a justification for government investigation, let alone intervention.”

Hedger also pounced upon conservatives on Twitter:

The “actually“, anecdotal argument Hedger makes was never true, though it didn’t stop CEI’s Hedger digging himself deeper.

Mercatus’s Adam Thierer blasted conservatives who believe in regulating the tech sector, while Robert Winterton from an opaque group called ‘NetChoice’ based in a suite on K Street in Washington, D.C. attacked Sen Josh Hawley:

His colleague Chris Marchese agreed on cue.

Jessica Miers of the TechFreedom organization – another “think tank” – tweeted her boss Eric Goldman’s article out, sneeringly entitled: “Americans would probably love Section 230… if they understood it.”

The cast of characters willing to do Google’s bidding – whether in libertarian circles or on the right proper – has grown in recent years as part of a concerted effort by Big Tech firms to buttress against real conservatives seeking to limit the power of faceless Silicon Valley censors.

In an oped by former FTC technologist Neil Chilson, the pseudo-rightist insists Americans should be grateful to Big Tech, even when being censored, because: “You can thank innovation for The Mandalorian and for the many ways we can stay in touch: Zoom video chats, Snapchat messages and Houseparty games. Because of American tech, we can connect even while social distancing.”

Chilson made no mention of Zoom’s links to the Chinese Communist Party, Snapchat’s airing of an interview with Dr. Fauci where he encouraging casual hook-ups in the middle of the pandemic, nor Mandalorian creator Disney’s “woke” politics.

Chilson works for the Charles Koch institute, though fashions himself as a representative of “Stand Together”, which itself appears to be a external operation of the Koch network.

A full list of Google lobbyist Max Pappas’s “go to” influencers appears below. The National Pulse asked both Google and Pappas if the list represents grantees of Google, but neither responded after almost a full day:

Name Known Affiliation/Employer
Jennifer Huddleston American Action Forum
Douglas Holtz-Eakin American Action Forum
Sarah Hale American Action Forum
Scott Fyall American Enterprise Institute
Windle Jarvis American Enterprise Institute
Matt Au American Enterprise Institute
Michael Strain American Enterprise Institute
Claude Barfield American Enterprise Institute
Roslyn Layton American Enterprise Institute
Jason Bertsch American Enterprise Institute
Gus Hurwitz American Enterprise Institute
Mark Jamison American Enterprise Institute
Daniel Lyons American Enterprise Institute
Bret Swanson American Enterprise Institute
Shane Tews American Enterprise Institute
James Pethokoukis American Enterprise Institute
Bartlett Cleland Innovation Economy Alliance
Brent Gardner Americans for Prosperity
Billy Easley Americans for Prosperity
Grover Norquist Americans for Tax Reform
Katie McAuliffe Americans for Tax Reform
Christopher Butler Americans for Tax Reform
Lorenzo Montanari Americans for Tax Reform
Alexander Hendrie Americans for Tax Reform
Jeff Roe Axiom Strategies
Norm Singleton Campaign for Liberty
Julian Sanchez CATO Institute
David Boaz CATO Institute
Matthew Feeney CATO Institute
Peter Van Doren CATO Institute
Ike Brannon CATO Institute
Walter Olson CATO Institute
John Samples CATO Institute
Alan Reynolds CATO Institute
Tom Firey CATO Institute
Harrison Moar CATO Institute
Jesse Blumenthal Charles Koch Institute
Neil Chilson Charles Koch Institute
Taylor Barkley Charles Koch Institute
Curt Levey Committee for Justice
Ashley Baker Committee for Justice
Steve Moore Heritage
Phil Kerpen American Commitment
Kent Lassman Competitive Enterprise Institute
Wayne Crews Competitive Enterprise Institute
Jessica Melugin Competitive Enterprise Institute
Iain Murray Competitive Enterprise Institute
Patrick Hedger Competitive Enterprise Institute
Christopher Koopman Growth Opportunity
Will Rinehart Growth Opportunity
Dean Reuter Federalist Society
Jon Staab Federalist Society
Devon Westhill Federalist Society
Alexander Biermann Federalist Society
Jason Pye Freedomworks
David Barnes Americans for Prosperity
Tim Chapman Heritage Action
Josh Arnold Heritage Action
Robert Bluey Heritage
Diane Katz Heritage
Bridgett Wagner Heritage
Martin Gillespie Heritage
Paul Larkin Heritage
Klon Kitchen Heritage
Thomas Binion Heritage
Paul Winfree Heritage
Jack Spencer Heritage
Amber Schwartz Independent Women’s Forum
Carrie Lukas Independent Women’s Forum
Patrice Onwuka Independent Women’s Forum
Nicole Neily Speech First
Tom Giovanetti Institute for Policy Innovation
Wayne Brough Innovation Defense
Aaron Ginn Lincoln Network
Garrett Johnson Lincoln Network
Zach Graves R Street
Ryan Radia Competitive Enterprise Institute
William Upton Lincoln Network
Charles Sauer Market Institute
Adam Thierer Mercatus Institute
Brent Skorup Mercatus Center
Anne Hobson Mercatus Institute
Andrea Castillo Mercatus Institute
Matthew Mitchell Mercatus Institute
Andrew Moylan National Taxpayers Union
Brandon Arnold National Taxpayers Union
Pete Sepp National Taxpayers Union
Genevieve McCarthy National Taxpayers Union
Steve DelBianco Netchoice
Carl Szabo Netchoice
Robert Winterton Netchoice
Chris Marchese Netchoice
Lauren Hyland Netchoice
Joe Coon Niskanen Center
Jerry Taylor Niskanen Center
Will Wilkinson Niskanen Center
Brink Lindsey Niskanen Center
Mike Godwin R Street
Eli Lehrer R Street
Thomas Struble R Street
Arthur Rizer R Street
Caleb Watney R Street
Shoshana Weissmann R Street
Charles Duan R Street
Kevin Kosar R Street
Peter Suderman Reason Foundation
Berin Szoka Tech Freedom
Dan Benavente Tech Freedom
Ian Adams Internation Center for Law & Economics
Ashkhen Kazaryan Tech Freedom
Jim Dunstan Tech Freedom
Scott Wallsten Tech Policy Institute
Tom Lenard Tech Policy Institute
Glenn Lammi Washington Legal Foundation
Cory Andrews Washington Legal Foundation
Casey Given Young Voices
John O McGinnis Federalist Society
William Shughart The Independent Institute
Lindsay Craig National Review Institute
Andrea O’Sullivan James Madison Institute
Sal Nuzzo James Madison Institute
Rea Henderman Buckeye Institute
Robert Alt Buckeye Institute
Asheesh Agarwal Tech Freedom

UPDATE: Heritage’s Rob Bluey issued the following statement to The National Pulse, essentially confirming the think tank receives Google funds while claiming it doesn’t impact their public policy positions (which is what corporates give think tanks money for):

“The Heritage Foundation doesn’t take marching orders from anyone. We always have and always will operate according to a core set of principles when evaluating policy proposals.

Donations have zero bearing on our policy positions. Heritage’s broad base of financial support ensures that our recommendations are never influenced by outside pressure.

The Heritage Foundation’s authority rests on the quality, rigor, depth, and independent nature of our research and analysis. Any suggestion to the contrary is false.

Heritage scholars have criticized Google and other technology companies for caving to the radical left, censoring Heritage content, and pursuing ill-advised policies. We will not be pressured or bullied by anyone as we continue to represent the interests of conservatives and all Americans.”

Natalie Winters and Raheem Kassam

Raheem Kassam is the Editor in Chief of the National Pulse. Natalie Winters is a Senior Writing Fellow.

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