Saturday, April 30, 2016
Time to update Eisenhower's warning to "Beware the tech corporatists government complex. Can you say more H1b visas
By Mario Trujillo - 04/29/16 04:07 PM EDT
Microsoft on Friday announced that it would be making cash donations to the Democratic convention but not the Republican one.
The announcement comes as advocates have increased their pressure on technology giants and other large corporations to refrain from sponsoring the Republican convention because of the rhetoric and proposed policies of GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump.
The company acknowledged the pressure campaign in the past few weeks, but maintained that its decision had been in place since last fall.
“In recent weeks we’ve engaged in conversation with groups that have asked us about our plans for the conventions this July,” Microsoft vice president Fred Humphries said in a blog post. “We’ve been happy to answer their questions and listen to their feedback. Even as we’ve done so, we’ve remained steadfast and comfortable with the decisions that we previously made.”
Microsoft noted that it does not always give cash donations to sponsor conventions. It gave money to the Republican convention in 2012 but not to Democrats, for example.
“So as we’ve explained to others, we’re not changing our planned activities for the conventions in 2016,” Humphries said. “We appreciate that this year’s conventions may have some more dramatic moments than in some prior years.”
Groups like ColorOfChange, CREDO and FreePress have collected hundreds of thousands of signatures to pressure major companies to repudiate Donald Trump’s campaign by refraining from backing theRepublican convention.
The groups just delivered a petition with half a million signatures to Google. Google on Thursday announced that it would provide the official lifestream for the GOP convention, but provided no details on other support.
ColorOfChange claimed a small victory, but said that it would prefer that companies refrain from any in-kind donations.
Similar calls have gone out to Coca-Cola, Adobe, Xerox, AT&T, Cisco and others.