Wealth’s Control: Rebekah Mercer


So, you think I’m exaggerating or knee-deep in a conspiracy theory when I say the rich and wealthy control and steer our country (and most of the world) in such a way as to ensure they remain wealthy no matter the consequences for the rest of us? You don’t believe their interests run counter to those making six figures and below?[1] Our well-being is sacrificed to their profit.

Case in point: Rebekah Mercer.

Today’s Washington Post profiles her growing role in the alt-right, conservative movement and, most recently, Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Note that she’s not giving away her own money. When it comes to earnings, she’s spending her daddy’s and hubby’s money.

Since 2010, Robert Mercer has climbed the ranks of the country’s biggest political donors, giving at least $36.5 million to federal GOP candidates and super PACs. Rebekah has contributed an additional $814,500, campaign finance records show.

At the same time, the Mercers have steadily upped their nonprofit investments. Run by Rebekah, the family foundation went from doling out $1.7 million in 2009 to $18.3 million in 2014, according to tax records.

In all, the foundation gave nearly $35 million to conservative think tanks and policy groups in those five years, according to records compiled by The Washington Post and GuideStar USA.

She quickly dropped out of the workforce to have babies and buy a bakery with her sisters. So, when she says she’s afraid of the government growing, she means she doesn’t want you to have affordable childcare. That may cost her a little of the money she’s donating to conservative causes.[2] Your and your children’s wellbeing is of no matter to her.

An even bigger driver is her deep-seated opposition to Clinton, who she believes would further expand the size and influence of the federal government.

You get to suffer without healthcare because she’s worried the government might grow.

There is one thing she worked on that I’d support, if it is as it is described here:

One of the efforts Rebekah is most proud of, according to friends, is a watchdog group called Reclaim New York that she started in 2013 with Bannon, the longtime executive chairman of Breitbart News, which counts Robert Mercer among its investors. Reclaim New York is using the state’s freedom-of-information law to try to disclose every local public expenditure and is working to train citizens to function as watchdogs in their own communities.

I can support calling public officials out for wasting taxpayer money. I don’t think the government should spend money willy-nilly. Public officials should be held to a strict standard. Texas state Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, has never been able to meet the low bar of Texas Ethics Commission standards.

Nonetheless, she’s found her own way to turn her political activism into a profit-making endeavor:

After the 2012 elections, Robert Mercer invested in Cambridge Analytica, a data-analytics firm, driven in part by an assessment that the right was lacking sophisticated technology capabilities, associates said. Rebekah Mercer has urged the organizations that her family funds to hire the company, according to people familiar with her advocacy.

What a tangled web the far-right movement weaves:

Cambridge was a major vendor to Cruz’s presidential campaign, which paid it $5.8 million before he dropped out in May, campaign finance records show. Trump, who has expressed skepticism about the value of data analytics, brought Cambridge aboard in July, paying it $100,000.

Cambridge shares a Beverly Hills, Calif., address with other Mercer investments. The company’s Wilshire Avenue office suite is also the home of Breitbart News and a movie production company called Glittering Steel, which helped finance the films “Torchbearer,” starring “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, and “Clinton Cash,” a documentary based on the book by Peter Schweizer.

Rebekah also sits on the board of the Heritage Foundation.

There are plenty of others – on both sides of the aisle. The Koch brothers, Soros, the Clintons, the Trumps, the Murdoch family, the Bush clan, Thiel and many, many others.

The really telling part is her reticence. Why hide?

“If she could be anonymous, I bet she’d prefer that,” said friend Alexandra Preate, a public relations executive.

Reminds me of James Leininger, the voucher sugar-daddy. His donations drastically decreased once we identified him publicly.

I think most people have a subconscious knowledge that the system is rigged against them; that there are people in charge of things ensuring they profit and the rest of us, well, screw the rest of us. It sounds silly when you articulate it.

I’m just confirming for you: You’re right. This does exist. It can be different, though. We just have to figure out how we want it to be – and make it so. Getting there likely won’t be pleasant.

[1] Honestly, I don’t consider people making six figures to be “wealthy.” They’re definitely doing better than most in the U.S. but they still don’t have enough money to greatly influence American politics.

[2] Of course, it would never be stated that way, and she may very well support affordable childcare services for others, but her activism on behalf of the far-right would negate such a belief.

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