Bruce Sterling on 1 Jan 2001 00:01:33 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] FW: to Run for Washington Senate Seat

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Subject: to Run for Washington Senate Seat
Date: Sun, Dec 31, 2000, 05:44 PM

June 14, 2040 to Run for Washington Senate Seat

SEATTLE--Web retailer today confirmed widespread rumors that it
will seek election to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first corporation to
pursue an elected position at the federal level.  "We're gonzo to do great
things for the people of Washington State," exclaimed Amazon's CEO Jeff
Bezos at a campaign-launch event held for Amazon employees.  "Each and
every one of us is going to have a part in deciding the most important
issues of the day.  We've done great things bringing great products to
great people through a great medium; now we'll bring them great government

 In announcing its candidacy, Amazon joins a small but growing rank of
office-seeking and office-holding corporations.  Starting with the
groundbreaking appointment of Merck to the New Jersey Supreme Court, and
culminating, dramatically, with the election last November of Alcoa to the
governorship of Ohio, the movement to encourage successful, publicly-held
corporations to bring their organizational efficiencies to the
public-sector has been gaining popular support.  "There were some initial
popular perception problems in the beginning," notes Steven Jingo, head of
Corporations for Better Government, a lobbying group for corporations
seeking partnership with local and state governments.  "But our focus
groups are telling us that people really appreciate when companies give
back to the community by taking on the responsibility of public office."

 Despite rumored encouragement from both the Republican and Democratic
parties, Amazon has bucked the trend and announced its intention to run as
an Independent:  "Those other parties may have something to offer old
economy types, but we speak our own language," declared Bezos.

 "We wish Amazon luck," concedes Republican Party organizer Henry Door.
"Every successful corporate candidate has been on a G.O.P. ticket.  We
pioneered the whole thing.  The Democrats are just playing catch-up on this

 "We carefully considered affiliating with one of the two major parties,"
explains Amazon campaign director Scott Flipper.  "They both made
attractive offers, but we felt that affiliating would dilute the value of
our proprietary platform.  We owe it to our shareholders to defend our
patented One-Click Constituent technology."

 Without the support of the two major parties, Amazon will have to be
innovative to attract sufficient support to win in November.  In addition
to employee loyalty agreements requiring Amazon employees to vote for the
company, Amazon has also instituted an incentive plan offering additional
options to employees for each voter they can sign to an exclusive voting
agreement.  "Vote Amazon and Save on Shipping!" declares a recent ad
campaign targeted at Washington residents and their relatives.

 "This comes dangerously close to buying votes," opines Seattle area
political chat host Marie Drape.  "But this also shows the sort of
innovative problem-solving we get with corporate candidates.  You don't see
things like this from traditional parties and traditional candidates.  It's
like a breath of fresh air, and the voters are eager for something new that


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