Like most major corporations, Microsoft has a habit of covering its bases by giving to both parties; the goal is to have access to the halls of government, regardless of who holds power. But Microsoft has been decidedly one-sided this election season, giving $25,000 to the WA State GOP and $5,000 to the King County GOP… while giving the Democratic Party zilch.
I find this awfully curious in light of the Gates Foundation’s inexcusable support of the Discovery Institute, and Microsoft’s embarrassing flip-flop-flip on HB 1515, a bill that would have extended protections against discrimination in housing, lending and employment to gays and lesbians… a bill that failed by one vote. I also find this favoritism ironic, considering that Microsoft’s only other contribution was $10,000 to oppose I-912, an initiative the WA State GOP has officially endorsed.
In a political system so heavily influenced by money, Microsoft has the financial might to completely skew the balance of power in WA state. Considering its recent political track record, and its close ties to conservative Republican operatives like Ralph Reed, I think it’s time that Microsoft’s customers, employees and shareholders start questioning how Gates & Company plans to wield this power.