June 14, 2040
SEATTLE–Web retailer Amazon.com 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 too!”
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 one.”
“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 works.”