Professor Zephyr Teachout was interviewed in an article by The Progressive Magazine discussing corporate power, labor rights, and transparent campaign financing.
Zephyr Teachout is a law professor at Fordham University, as well as an author, activist, and three-time political candidate. In 2014, as a virtual political unknown, she mounted a surprisingly strong primary challenge to former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, grabbing 34 percent of the vote. In that campaign, Teachout made anti-corruption a key issue, which resonated among voters at a time when Cuomo had abruptly shut down the Moreland Commission, established to investigate political graft in Albany. Cuomo, accused of sexual harassment, resigned in disgrace in August 2021. Teachout also ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2016 and New York State attorney general in 2018.
“Concentrated corporate power is a threat to freedom—especially in the wake of [the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in]Citizens United, which allowed companies to spend political money without restrictions. There are obvious ways they threaten freedom, like spending millions on lobbying. But fear is another threat. Take a company like Amazon. People are scared of Amazon and won’t speak up about their practices if they’re in Amazon’s orbit. They’re afraid that these behemoths will retaliate. So there’s a democratic cost along with wage stagnation and quality of life degradation that you get with big corporate power.”