Google's Cash Cow? Campaign Contributions Good For America
By George Gildersleeve
If you`re reading this article, you`re probably very familiar with Google Inc.`s products and services, but did you ever think about who the most powerful people at Google want in office as your next president of the U.S.A.? Google`s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin have become multi-billionaires from their company`s success and created a Political Action Committee (PAC) to support candidates to various public offices that are firm on their stance of maintaining net neutrality (net neutrality is something not covered extensively in this article but, in short, would keep the internet a completely free place).
Looking at public records for political donations from Page and Brin shows that both founders of the Google internet giant haven`t given money to any specific candidates but rather to the aforementioned Google PAC. This means that while Page and Brin obviously have candidates of choice, are maintaining a fairly neutral stance with their contributions and not contributing to specific candidates.
There is one other Google executive, Eric Schmidt, who was hired as the Chairman of Google Inc. since March 2001 and CEO since August of 2001. Eric Schmidt`s donation record is very different than those of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Schmidt`s record shows donations that mainly go to Democratic candidates, and when he does give to a Republican it is generally one of the more liberal Republican Candidates. His contributions have totaled $260,716 with $6,500 to Republicans, $229,216 to Democratic candidates, and $25,000 to special interest groups which consist of various PACs including Google`s NetPAC.
As a company, Google`s motto is "Don`t Be Evil` which seems to be a pretty good overview of the Google PAC`s intentions. Since Google`s founding in 1998, they have had Washington lobbyists for their benefit, although they don`t fund them nearly as much as comparable Silicon Valley companies like Intel and Cisco.
In closing, Bob Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles and an expert on money in politics says that Google will back the political party in power. While Google is contributing to Republicans since a Republican is currently in power, it`s most likely that they won`t hesitate to fund a Democratic candidate if they win the election in November.
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