When I answer the phone, Zephyr Teachout quickly explains our call might be shorter than planned. Both she and I are at the whim of her two-year-old toddler, who is sleeping and could wake at any time.
Teachout, a law professor at Fordham University in New York, is best known for her runs for governor of the state and for Congress from New York’s 19th district (both races she lost). She has also written numerous books, including her latest, “BREAK ‘EM UP: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money.” Our discussion comes the day after historic Big Tech antitrust hearings in Congress.
Teachout sees the antitrust discussion as a flashpoint for understanding how democracy and corruption collide. To her, concentrations of private power, as with the Big Tech companies, can’t be fixed with, say, campaign finance reform. These companies are a threat to the public sphere