Feudalism in the 21st Century

Facebook spouse/aspiring feudal lord Sean Eldridge.

Sean Eldridge is a 21st-century feudalist. After marrying Chris Hughes, who earned hundreds of millions of dollars for developing the Facebook "poke" button, Eldridge and his husband set out in search of a fiefdom from which to launch a Congressional bid. After a couple false starts, they eventually settled on New York’s 19th district, where Eldridge is currently trying to unseat incumbent Chris Gibson (R., N.Y.), a lifetime resident of the district.

After purchasing a suitable mansion in the district, Eldridge used his husband’s money to start Hudson River Ventures, an investment fund that focuses on local small businesses. He provides money, shelter, and protection to his adopted vassals, asking only for political allegiance in return.

The Register-Star reported Wednesday that Eldridge’s firm recently made a $100,000 investment in an agriculture center in the small town of Copake:

The money helped the center purchase two houses for its farmers, said Bob Bernstein, the managing director of Northeast Farm Access, the organization that’s bringing together farmers and investors to create a farming center in the shadow of Copake Town Hall. …

Eldridge’s investment came in March, Bernstein said, when the CAC project was at "a bit of a standstill, so it was a boost." The next week, Bernstein finalized the purchase of the two houses, which cost $152,000 and $250,000 respectively. The center is providing housing on its farms for two of the three farmers. …

"Agriculture is the great strength of our region," he said. "We have to make sure we’re supporting our farmers."

Eldridge, who has invested in 20 local businesses since moving to the area, has promised to fight against "big money" and "special interests" in Washington if elected. He has personally donated almost $1 million of his husband’s money to his campaign.