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Microsoft Suspends Political Donations to Some Leaders Through 2022

05/02/2021 9:54pm

Dow Jones News


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By Kimberly Chin

 

Microsoft Corp. will suspend its political contributions to officials and organizations that have raised objections to the presidential election results through 2022, following a review and discussions with employees on the role its political-action committee plays in the wake of last month's riot at the Capitol.

The tech giant said it will halt contributions to all congressional leaders who voted to object to the certification of electors as well as to state officials and organizations who backed the objections or called for the election to be overturned through the rest of the 2022 election cycle.

The company will also rename its PAC as the Microsoft Corporation Stakeholders Voluntary PAC to better reflect the voluntary donations of the company's shareholders, employees and family members, the company said.

Corporate PACs are funded by volunteer donations from management-level employees and doled out to candidates by executives, usually in consultation with their lobbyists.

The Redmond, Wash., company also said it would create a new program, dubbed the Democracy Forward Initiative, for employees to throw their dollars toward supporting organizations that address issuemes and policies that preserve and promote democracy in areas such as campaign finance reform and voting rights.

The assault on the Capitol on Jan. 6, fueled by claims of election fraud by former President Donald Trump and his GOP allies, led many companies to suspend PAC contributions while they re-evaluate their political gift-giving. That group also included names such as Facebook Inc., AT&T Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., JPMorgan Chase Inc. and Citigroup Inc.

Microsoft suspended all donations from its PAC after the Capitol riot, pending further review and discussions with employees. The company recently said that 20% of its PAC donations over the past four years went to politicians who objected to President Joe Biden's win.

Microsoft also plans to work alongside other businesses and organizations to promote and encourage conversations in the business community and companies across the U.S.

 

Write to Kimberly Chin at kimberly.chin@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 16:39 ET (21:39 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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