Young Blue-Wave Dems Unmask Corporate Attempt at "Bipartisan" Political Indoctrination
December 10, 2018 Harvard Kennedy School & Jake Johnson / San Diego Free Press
Pulling back the curtain on the ostensibly "bipartisan" orientation for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard's Kennedy School in Boston, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib have revealed how -- contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising -- the private "orientation" session (sponsored by the oil-baron Koch brothers) featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out the voices of organized labor and members of the progressive community.
Progressive Newcomers Expose Corporate Attempts at "Bipartisan" Political Indoctrination
New Members in attendance will gain insights on governing from former elected office holders, current and former senior White House and administration officials, diplomats, economists, business leaders, lobbyists, and academics. -- Harvard Institute of Politics
"Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where's labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?" -- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)
"You guys are way over your head, you don't know how the game is played." -- Gary Cohn, former president of Goldman Sachs to newly elected House reps. "No, Gary. You don't know what's coming -- a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits." -- Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.)
Newly Elected Members of Congress Invited to
Harvard Kennedy School for Bipartisan Orientation Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics
CAMBRIDGE, MA (December 4, 2018) -- The Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School today announced details of their 2018 Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress.
The IOP will welcome newly elected US Representatives from December 4 to 6 for sessions designed to forge bipartisan relationships and learn practical skills of lawmaking just one month prior to taking the oath of office. Since 1972, the IOP program has hosted nearly 700 current and new Members of Congress.
"The Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members comes at an historic time as our nation is looking to its elected leaders on key issues," said Mark D. Gearan, Director of the Institute of Politics. "For more than 45 years, the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School has convened newly elected Members of Congress of both parties to ease the transition from the campaign to service in the Congress by sharing the intellectual resources of Harvard as well as government and private sector leaders. We are honored to host this extraordinary class of Members who will soon bring their talents and perspective to our nation's capital."
New Members in attendance will gain insights on governing from former elected office holders, current and former senior White House and administration officials, diplomats, economists, business leaders, lobbyists, and academics. Discussion topics include civility and democracy, the budget and appropriations process, White House and Congressional relations, navigating Washington and Capitol Hill, and America's role in the world.
Calling on the resources of Harvard University and the Kennedy School, newly elected Members of Congress will have the opportunity to hear from distinguished scholars, professors of practice, and College administration officials, including President Lawrence S. Bacow and Harvard Kennedy School Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf -- all of whom will provide important insight and expertise to the program participants.
"Harvard is honored to host newly elected US Representatives on our campus each election," said President Lawrence Bacow. "Welcoming public servants to our campus and encouraging them to build relationships with one another enriches not only our community but also our country.
"I am pleased that previous participants used their time with us to get to know their colleagues, and I look forward to addressing the members of the 116th Congress and to speaking with them about the challenges and opportunities ahead."
WASHINGTON (December 9, 2018) -- Pulling back the curtain on the ostensibly "bipartisan" orientation for newly elected members of Congress at Harvard's Kennedy School in Boston, Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) informed the public through live social media updates on Thursday that -- contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising -- the private conference featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out organized labor and members of the progressive community.
"Our 'bipartisan' congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group," Ocasio-Cortez noted, likely referring to the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute, which is co-sponsoring the event. "Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn't told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where's labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?"
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ✔@Ocasio2018
Right now Freshman members of Congress are at a "Bipartisan" orientation w/ briefings on issues.
Invited panelists offer insights to inform new Congressmembers' views as they prepare to legislate.
# of Corporate CEOs we've listened to here: 4
# of Labor leaders: 0
9:42 AM - Dec 6, 2018
Tlaib, for her part, called attention to a speech by Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs president who left his post as President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser earlier this year.
According to Tlaib, Cohn condescendingly told the freshman members, "You guys are way over your head, you don't know how the game is played."
"No, Gary," Tlaib responded, "you don't know what's coming -- a revolutionary Congress that puts people over profits."
Journalists and progressives were quick to praise both Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib for their commitment to transparency and their willingness to offer the public a behind-the-scenes look at the corporate-dominated event that typically goes entirely undiscussed by members of Congress and the press.
"One of the best parts of Ocasio-Cortez's arrival in DC as a new leader is that she notices, and is revolted by, the corrupt, corporatist rituals that are so embedded in DC culture that most politicians and journalists barely notice them, let alone find them objectionable or odd," noted The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald.
Others echoed Greenwald's praise of Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, both of whom rejected corporate PAC during their campaigns and ran on platforms demanding bold progressive change:
"Democratic leadership signs off on these events," observedHuffington Post reporter Zach Carter. "The new class isn't having it."
According to the Harvard Kennedy School's Institute of Politics (IOP), which is hosting the orientation, the event is designed to give newly elected members of Congress "insights on governing from former elected office holders, current and former senior White House and administration officials, diplomats, economists, business leaders, lobbyists, and academics."
Below is a list of speakers who are participating in the event. Conspicuously absent, as Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, are any representatives of organized labor, environmental groups, other public interest advocates, or anyone who could reasonably be considered a progressive:
* Hon. Elaine Chao, US Secretary of Transportation, former Secretary of Labor and Director of the Peace Corps
* Hon. Ash Carter, former US Secretary of Defense, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Belfer Professor of Technology and Global Affairs
* Hon. Mitch Landrieu, former Mayor of New Orleans, IOP Visiting Fellow
* Danielle Allen, James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, and Director of Harvard's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.
* Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO of General Motors
* Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School
* Gary Cohn, former Director of the National Economic Council
* Douglas Elmendorf, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, Dean of Harvard Kennedy School
* David Gergen, former Presidential adviser, Public Service Professor of Public Leadership, Director of the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy School
* Alex Gorsky, Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson
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