Hey, Facebook. You suck.

UPDATE: Wow. DGA, the Democratic Governors Assn., just got into this.

Mark Zuckerberg FacebookYou too, Mark Zuckerberg. You suck mightily.

Via Wall Street Journal, we learn that Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla will host a fundraiser for Chris Christie in their Palo Alto home Feb. 13. Don’t count on this – believed to be the first campaign event ever at their home – to be event-posted on Facebook (unlike this one). Higher rollers than you will be invited. The world’s youngest billionaire has been palling around with Christie since 2010 when Cory Booker met Zuckerberg to talk education ‘reform’ and pulled Christie in as third-wheel, as Newark Schools are still under state control.

Zuckerberg’s windfall was announced in a flashy hugfest on Oprah, featuring Zuck, Christie and the mayor. Kissy kissy. This was at the same time Social Media, the very unflattering movie about Facebook’s founding, was hitting theaters, and not long after Christie blew a $400 million federal grant to improve NJ public education. Mainstream media pretty much shut up about both those pesky problems after Booker arranged that boffo positive PR at just the right time to benefit all three of them.

But the terms and conditions were – Christie-style – wrapped in secrecy. And there was a real question of whether Newark residents were being heard on their schools’ future. A group of Newark parents and grandparents, with help from ACLU-NJ, sued for the contents of emails detailing the terms and conditions of how that $100M would be spent, how much had already been spent and where, along with the relationship between private and public leaders in the grant’s implementation (the movement of tycoons in NJ education has typically been as opaque as the Christie administration can get away with making it).

All but lost in the Christmas-week announcement that Booker would decline to challenge Christie for governor was the release of dozens of those secret emails , after a judge ordered it. Santa’s little news-dump some people hoped you’d miss.

And what was in those emails? Quoting Washington Post:

So what do the heavily-redacted e-mails tell us? They reveal a determined effort by state education officials to persuade big private donors to provide the cash for them to remake public schools in the way they want to. It tells us more about the continuing privatization of American public education.

And there it is. If Mark Zuckerberg has any problem with all of this, he hasn’t told the people of Newark. His gift created an amazing opportunity to do good, but it comes with some responsibilities for follow-up. Unfortunately, by lending his name, his influence and his home to raise money for Gov. Christie, he’s telling us the way New Jersey’s handling his gift, and the rest of the governor’s performance – like delaying medical marijuana delivery to sick patients, eliminating funding for women’s health, and well, I could go on – is just peachy with him. Disappointing.

Note: Blue Jersey also made a related OPRA request for details of Zuckerberg’s grant.

Comments (20)

  1. 12mileseastofTrenton

    once more.

  2. Jeff Gardner

    “When you fundraise for Governor Christie, you are fundraising to block marriage equality in New Jersey – is that really what you are about?”

    I’ll let you know if he writes me back.

  3. Joshua Henne

    Just because you’re young and work in Silicon Valley doesn’t mean you’re progressive. Its really sad (and uninformed) for Mark Zuckerberg to host a fundraiser for regressive Governor Christie.

    Guess the hoodie is a fan of the Koch Brothers, the 1%, giving hand-outs and bailouts to mall developers and casino moguls, vetoing women’s health funding and stopping folks from being able to marry the people they love.

  4. A New Jersey Farmer

    The point is that without more private money, the reform efforts of the Kochs and Christie’s will fail. They’ve based their success on people like Zuckerberg, but how many of them are there? And how many will part with their money to help a right wing ideologue make a point?

  5. Erik Preuss

    Considering how much money he is worth I don’t think it should be. Although unfortunate, it is true that being a Republican pays dividends if you are worth a lot of money. That being said, I don’t think he’s necessarily an “asshole” for fundraising for Christie. I just think he is unbelievably ignorant and misinformed.  

  6. Jeff Gardner

    Feel free to RT: @jeffpgardner

  7. Bertin Lefkovic

    Just because you’re young and are willing to work for anybody, including but not limited to Jerremiah Healy, doesn’t mean you’re progressive.

    That said, as annoyed by this as I am, the more that I think about this, the more I realize that none of us should be surprised by this.  Anyone who saw the film, “The Social Network”, and trusts the work of Aaron Sorkin (although Moneyball was a bit of a stretch) would know that Zuck was an asshole (in fact, all of the major characters in the film were assholes).

    Why should we have assumed that someone who is young and works in Silicon Valley would be progressive.  I would imagine that most of Zuck’s ilk were big time contributors to Meg Whitman’s campaign.  I would imagine that most of these people support marriage equality and women’s health, but when push comes to shove, they care more about paying as little in taxes as possible.  If anything, it is we who are guilty of being uninformed.  

    They’re Republicans and they think that Chris Christie is their best hope against Sarah Palin or whatever colonelbatguanocrazy teabagging wingnut(s) is/are running in 2016, but they know that if he loses in 2013, he is not going to be able to run for President.  It sucks, but it makes sense.

    What doesn’t make sense is thinking that people like Zuck and Steve Jobs are progressive, much less cool, just because we like their products.  It would be great if we could boycott anything and everything that is made by companies who are run by assholes, but if we did that, it would be nearly impossible to live a remotely modern existence.  Shut-ins are probably the only pure people left in the world.

    Just because progressive is cool doesn’t mean that cool is necessarily progressive.  Cory Booker was cooler than Sharpe James, but he has disappointed progressives more often than he hasn’t.  Steven Fulop is cooler than Healy, but if he is elected Mayor, he will probably disappoint us as much as Booker.  Buono is cooler than Codey, but she has a worse track record of being aligned with political machine bosses than he does.

    I guess that Huey Lewis was right when he sung that it is “Hip to Be Square”.

  8. Jeff Gardner

    Now someone “willing to work for” the reelection campaign of a Democratic mayor, an early Obama supporter, and someone who enjoys the support of countless other progressive Democrats, is no longer a progressive?

    Comparing Jeremiah Healy with Chris Christie is absurd and undermines whatever other point you may have intended in your comment.

  9. William Weber (WjcW)
  10. Bertin Lefkovic

    Since when has Democratic been synonymous with progressive, particularly here in NJ, especially in our major cities.  After Ron C. Rice, I am hard pressed to name another truly progressive elected official from any of our urban areas.  Healy is definitely not one of them.  While he is not as bad as Christie, I don’t think that Christie should be our baseline for who is and is not progressive.  I think that we can have better standards than that.

    That said, being unemployed and underemployed for as long as I have been, I am the last person who would begrudge anybody a paycheck and if I had to sell my political soul for a quick buck, I would do it, but while I was doing it, I definitely wouldn’t be as preachy as Joshua was in his comment.

    Considering how much snark gets thrown around here, it is hard to know when it is OK and when it isn’t.  Or maybe that is not the issue.  Maybe the issue is that only certain people here are allowed to be snarky.  Excuse me for not being part of the Blue Jersey in-crowd.

  11. Bill Orr

    In Palo Alto and Silicone Valley there are a quite a few. Stanford’s Hoover Institute serves as an intellectual hub for the extremely wealthy entrepreneurs as well as ordinary conservatives.  

  12. sayitaintso

    so, yes,  they require private money.  But hey, it takes money to make money.

    Educational outcomes are not the product,  dividends are.

    Christie has given Zuck a foot in the door of a huge 21st century indusry.  

  13. Jeff Gardner

    That’s Steve Fulop’s case to make. And, if it’s true, I hope he succeeds.

  14. Bertin Lefkovic

    …is calling out corrupt politicians like Healy for being corrupt the sole responsibility of opposing candidates?  Numerous comments and diaries have been written here at Blue Jersey decrying corruption in our state.  Why is Healy suddenly off-limits?

    Because he is a Democrat?  There are plenty of corrupt Democrats in this state.  Because he was an early Obama supporter?  Obviously, being an early Obama supporter didn’t mean much to you when you were supporting Bill Pascrell last year.

    I am not going to write a lengthy comment or diary, describing all of the corruption charges against Healy and explaining why he is not a progressive, because when push comes to shove, I don’t really care who the Mayor of Jersey City is.  Fulop is probably marginally better than Healy, but if he is elected, I am sure that he will be just as much of a disappointment as Cory Booker has been.

    Outside of Ron C. Rice, there are virtually no good guys elected to public office in our cities.  At best, we have a bunch of people who were the lesser of evils.

  15. BillyMuckraker

    This is nonsense.

    Corruption isnt a just an electoral issue. And in Jersey City its one of the main reasons Jersey City and Hudson County continue to be so ass-backwards despite having so much in its favor.

    Granted, Fulop has been quick to pick up party machine castaways but lets not pretend the corruption, sinecure and patronage of the HCDeadO isn’t completely antithetical to Progressive Politics.  

  16. BillyMuckraker

    This is nonsense.

    Corruption isnt a just an electoral issue. And in Jersey City its one of the main reasons Jersey City and Hudson County continue to be so ass-backwards despite having so much in its favor.

    Granted, Fulop has been quick to pick up party machine castaways but lets not pretend the corruption, sinecure and patronage of the HCDeadO isn’t completely antithetical to Progressive Politics.  

  17. Jeff Gardner

    You’re right – it is antithetical to progressive politics. And it’s antithetical to conservative politics. It’s antithetical to good government and democracy.

    And, when we label every politician as corrupt, or throw it around too readily against politicians we don’t like in the moment, I think it undermines the effort to root out the real corruption that infects our democracy.

    I don’t know what goes on in Jersey City, but if the prosecutors can’t figure it out, then it’s up to local leaders – like Fulop – to shine the light so the voters who live there can. So, I do think it is very much an electoral issue, and must be.

  18. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

    I wouldn’t assume Mark Zuckerberg is a Republican. And I would be surprised if he didn’t extend his home, his name and his contact list to Democrat Cory Booker.

    He’s misinformed on education; I absolutely agree with that. But ignorant? No. I simply think he’s playing the angles. And doing considerable damage as he does.  

  19. Joshua Henne

    i think its a larger problem – in that while we in NJ know first-hand how horrible Christie has been for the middle-class and working families, the rest of the nation only knows him from manufactured youtube moments, puffball pieces on national outlets and a lack of tough questions when he is on national press outlets – focusing more on questions about springsteen, the mets, his weight, etc.

    That’s why it is so very important to show those who, like Mark Zuckerberg, might not know the whole story…well, the whole story.

    Or at least having him know full well who his new “friend” truly is…and what that means for him to be lumped into the same right-wing bag of ideals and priorities.

  20. Rosi Efthim (Post author)

    I have little doubt that Zuckerberg didn’t have somebody put together background info on Christie before he made this decision. I think it’s most likely that the puffball stuff, and the boffo propaganda machine, and the personality journalism that treats Christie like a phenomenon instead of a politician whose actions should be accountable was weighted greater for him when he made his decision.

    I absolutely agree that efforts should be made to educate the Harvard grad with some things he may not have considered.  


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