In a blog post, the Seattle-based tech giant said it would suspend corporate PAC donations to members of Congress who voted to overturn Biden’s win, as well as state officials and organizations who supported the effort, for the 2022 election cycle.
In the aftermath of the Capitol riots, Microsoft decided to suspend donations to both parties and evaluate whether it wanted to take further action.
The company said it made the decision to suspend donations to Republican objectors after holding listening sessions with employees.
One of those meetings got public attention after chief legal officer Brad Smith offered a frank look into how Microsoft’s PAC donations buy the company access and the ability to form relationships with lawmakers, CNBC reported, explaining that Microsoft government affairs employees are able to go to political events and dinners “because the PAC writes a check.”
“We believe these steps are appropriate given the importance of these issues for the stability and future of American democracy,” Fred Humphries, corporate vice president of U.S. Government Affairs, said in a statement.
Dozens of major companies suspended donations to certification objectors in the wake of the attack on the Capitol last month, including Google, Marriott International, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Walmart, Disney, AirBnb, Amazon, American Express, AT&T, Best Buy, Comcast, Dow, Intel, MasterCard, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Verizon.
In addition to the loss of corporate donors, Sens. Hawley and Cruz, both of who led the effort to overturn the results in the Senate, are also facing an ethics probe and Democratic calls to resign. Critics argue that their support for overturning the election legitimized the ideology that led to the pro-Trump mob storming the Capitol. Hawley and Cruz deny responsibility for the riot, saying their objections in the Senate were “debating” the issue without resorting to violence.
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