Google’s Eric Schmidt in charge of user profiles for Clinton campaign website, leaked memo says

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, took responsibility for “core functionalities” and “more complete user profiles” in building the website for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, a memo released by WikiLeaks suggests.

Schmidt’s team was to build the systems for taking donations, storing credit card information, and “the ability to acquire email addresses,” according to the October 2014 letter to Clinton from Teddy Goff, an election strategist who was a digital director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 election campaign. Goff said those “core functionalities” were the first priority for Schmidt’s group

The memo, among the hacked emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, was brought to light Wednesday by The Washington Times. As with much other information from the hack, the authenticity of the memo could not be confirmed.

Goff also referred to “discreet conversations” with tech giants such as Silicon Valley’s Google, Apple and Facebook.

For the Clinton campaign website, Schmidt’s group had another major priority that was not critical for the site’s launch but would be “extremely useful to have as early in the cycle as possible,” Goff said in the memo. This was a system for gathering data from numerous sources to “develop more complete user profiles” that would enable “more effective programs.”

In the memo, Goff thanks Clinton for inviting him to send it, and says it is “meant to provide current thinking on the technology and digital priorities of your campaign.” Goff’s role in “Clinton for America” is not explained, but he appears to have been in charge of the digital side of the campaign, and responsible for overseeing Schmidt’s team.

Schmidt’s exact role is not explained, either. But Schmidt is reportedly the main investor in a company founded by Michael Slaby, a digital strategist who, in an odd twist, took a seat on the board of an organization dedicated to attacking Google, despite taking money from Schmidt for his company Timshel. Timshel’s campaign-organizing platform is being used by the Clinton campaign. It could not be confirmed whether Schmidt’s team, referred to in the memo, is the Timshel platform team.

The memo from Goff, who worked on the 2012 Obama campaign with Slaby, also referred to collaboration with Silicon Valley tech giants.

“Working relationships with Google, Facebook, Apple, and other technology companies were important to us in 2012 and should be even more important to you in 2016, given their still-ascendant positions in the culture,” Goff said. “These partnerships can bring a range of benefits to a campaign, from access to talent and prospective donors to early knowledge of beta products and invitations to participate in pilot programs.

“We have begun having discreet conversations with some of these companies to get a sense of their priorities for the coming cycle, but would encourage you, as soon as your technology leadership is in place, to initiate more formal discussions.”

A request for Schmidt to comment on the memo did not receive an immediate response.


Photo: Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt in 2014. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group)


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  • Lafayette Escadrill

    this t rd leans so far to the left, he needs a crutch