Don’t read this article. Yes, I know you’re curious about the headline, but I can assure you that the following is just the rantings of another crazed right-wing commentator who engages in conspiracy theories.
At least, that’s what the activist media will say if anything big comes from this story.
As we were focusing on the holiday season and the ongoing debate over the integrity of the presidential election, Amazon was busy figuring out how they might gain a favorable position with a potential Biden administration.
Lobbyist Jeff Ricchetti recently hammered out a contract with Amazon Web Services according to a new lobbying disclosure report. He obtained the position about a week after Election Day when the activist media began declaring Biden the winner of the race. The lobbyist has been involved in several different projects, including some tied to the pharmaceutical industry.
Oh, and he also happens to be the brother of Steve Ricchetti, Biden’s White House counselor.
You read that right. Amazon hired a close relative of a key member of Biden’s team as a lobbyist. Previously, ethics attorneys told CNBC that Steve Ricchetti might have to recuse himself from matters that could involve his brother’s clients. Also, CNBC reported that “A person familiar with the brothers’ relationship said they keep their professional lives entirely separate and that Jeff Ricchetti would never lobby Steve Ricchetti.”
“Jeff has never and will never lobby his brother on behalf of any of his clients, and Steve has had no role in his brother’s business since he sold his stake in the firm in 2012,” the source said. “Steve and Jeff keep their professional activities distinctly separate.”
Well, doesn’t that just make you feel so much better about this apparent conflict of interest?
According to CNBC, “The disclosure report shows that Jeff Ricchetti will be lobbying Amazon on issues pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of the CARES Act. Amazon appears to be on the verge of expanding their health care business known as Amazon Care.”
But there are some timing issues here. The New York Post noted:
“Jeff Ricchetti, the brother of longtime Biden aide Steve Ricchetti, picked up a lobbying contract with Amazon Web Services in November, less than a week after Biden was declared the winner of the presidential election, CNBC reported Saturday.
Two days later, Jeff Ricchetti registered as a lobbyist for Evofem Biosciences, pushing for contraceptive coverage in federal health-care plans.
That same week, Steve Ricchetti, who served as Biden’s campaign chairman and as his vice-presidential chief of staff, was tapped as ‘counselor to the president,’ a job held by trusted aides like Kellyanne Conway under President Trump.”
But the familial connection isn’t the only problem. It appears that Biden’s decision to hire Steve Ricchetti will get him in more trouble with the radical left-wing faction of the Democratic Party. Alexandra Rojas of Justice Democrats, the political action committee that gave us Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of the squad, savaged the former vice president and Ricchetti.
She said that Ricchetti “is a former pharma lobbyist and has represented groups vociferously opposed to Medicare For All and the public manufacturing of prescription drugs.”
She added: “If Joe Biden continues making corporate-friendly appointments to his White House, he will risk quickly fracturing the hard-earned goodwill his team built with progressives to defeat Donald Trump.”
Is it possible that, despite appearances, everything will be on the up-and-up when it comes to the Ricchettis? Of course it is. However, it is equally, if not more, possible that this connection will amount to Amazon having someone on the inside to help with its lobbying efforts.
As of this writing, the left-wing activist media has mostly ignored this story. So far, The Hill and CNBC are the only major news outlets that have covered the Ricchetti connection. Indeed, it is not likely that the other supposed journalistic entities will even bat an eye at this seeming conflict of interest even if evidence of a conflict arises in the future.
But don’t worry, we’ll be sure to highlight it when it happens.