On June 21, The American Conservative hosted its second annual Crony Capitalism Conference where it convened leading policy experts and journalists to explore the federal government’s cozy ties to defense contractors and technology firms.

The first panel, “How Cronyism Fuels the Military Industrial Congressional Complex,” was moderated by TAC contributing editor Mark Perry, and featured:

  • Bryan Bender, reporter and defense editor for POLITICO
  • Gareth Porter, investigative reporter and author of Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare
  • Mandy Smithberger, director of the Straus Military Reform Project on Government Oversight
  • Caroline Dorminey, policy analyst in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute

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The first panel was followed with a rousing speech from author and consumer advocate Ralph Nader on the military industrial complex tilted “Eisenhower’s Warning: Prophetic and Presently Understated.”

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The second panel, “Cronyism in Big Tech: Amazon and Beyond,” was moderated by TAC executive editor Lewis McCrary, and featured:

  • Matt Stoller, fellow at the Open Markets Institute
  • Tim Carney, commentary editor at the Washington Examiner
  • Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
  • Robert D. Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation