Tags: Tech companies | lobbying | liberals

Liberals Unleash Angry Emoticons as Tech Firms Court Conservatives

By    |   Monday, 27 October 2014 09:14 AM

Silicon Valley liberals are irked that tech companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo — seeking influence in Washington and state capitals to benefit their businesses — have given money to candidates and organizations that lean conservative, Politico reported.

The issues that matter to these firms range from government antitrust initiatives and privacy restrictions to copyright laws. The political work of their lobbying offices do not necessarily reflect the companies' liberal philosophy.

Some firms aligned themselves with the American Legislative Exchange Council, which pursues a conservative business agenda at the state level. And Google has backed Heritage Action, a conservative political action committee. This means that tech firms find themselves supporting candidates or industry associations that oppose gay marriage and favor gun rights, Politico reported.

Under liberal pressure at shareholder meetings, Google and Yahoo have pulled out of ALEC. Years ago, under similar pressure Yahoo and Apple withdrew from the Chamber of Commerce.

"When you talk about companies like Facebook and Google, they are built on a more idealistic platform than a lot of major institutional companies historically have been," said Julie Samuels of the start-up trade association Engine. "It's part of their DNA that they engage on some of these social issues, that they engage their users. Politically, that puts them in a really tough spot. We don't hold other companies to the same standards," Politico reported.

Google managers say that the company can't take categorical political positions that would cut it off from potential allies who take a conservative stance on such issues as global warming or renewable energy mandates.

Tech companies say that membership in an industry group does not mean that they agree with all of its political pursuits. Facebook has made political donations to state-level candidates who favor its position on privacy though some oppose same-sex marriage laws. This despite the fact that the company is staunchly gay-friendly, Politico reported.

"When it comes to politics, Silicon Valley is a teenager that grew up too fast and doesn't understand the intricacies of the political system," said Vivek Wadhwa of Stanford Law School, according to Politico

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Silicon Valley liberals are irked that tech companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo have given money to candidates and organizations that lean conservative, Politico reported.
Tech companies, lobbying, liberals
366
2014-14-27
Monday, 27 October 2014 09:14 AM
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