Change: why accept money from lobbyists? Just accept it directly from their funding source.
TWO MONTHS ago we showed that Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates personally make donations to politicians. They almost literally put money in their bank accounts. Why? What for?
Obama seems to be repeating the same mistakes as the Republicans — assuming financial gain is an ethical issue for a diplomat. For the Obama administration to accept such payments (up, close and personal even) is not a smart move. Obama is already receiving advice directly from Bill Gates, who is passing billions of dollars to many governments (not for 'charity', either). Bill Gates and his father also used Abramoff to subvert the United States government. That was before Abramoff got sentenced to jail.
Ballmers, Gateses give combined $200k to Obama inauguration
The committee’s website also lists “William Gates” for a $50,000 donation, although it’s not clear [i]f that’s the Microsoft co-founder or his father, who are often confused in elections filings. Melinda Gates is listed separately for another $50,000 donation, as is Ballmer’s wife, Connie. That’s $200,000 total from the Gates and Ballmer families, for anyone keeping track.
Rob Glaser, RealNetworks CEO, $50,000
Steven Van Roekel, Windows Server Solutions, $50,000
Nick Hanauer, Second Avenue Partners, $25,000
Craig Mundie, Microsoft chief research and strategy officer, $25,000
Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel, $25,000
Mike Mathieu, former CEO of All Star Directories, $25,000
Microsoft’s Ballmer helps fund Obama’s inauguration
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may not have contributed to Barack Obama’s election campaign, but he is chipping in to help fund the president-elect’s inauguration.
He has said that he will not accept donations from corporations, lobbyists or political action committees.
A Microsoft spokeswoman said, “These donations are personal contributions from the named Microsoft executives, and not representative of Microsoft the corporation.”
If these payments do not come from Microsoft’s lobbyists (Microsoft tops the lobbying chart by the way) but from typical funders of these lobbyists, does that make it all right? It sure seems like a verbal loophole — saying you won't accept money from lobbyists [... but will accept it from their paymasters]. It’s not as if Microsoft does not align its legion of lobbyists to more effectively influence Democrats [1, 2].
“It’s not as if Microsoft does not align its legion of lobbyists to more effectively influence Democrats.”As the comments from the above say, “What happens to the 24MM dollars (publicly visible) donated so far?”
And also: “I don’t get this. How does one benefit by donating money to the inauguration? I assume you get a bunch of invitations to pass out to your friends, but that seems a bit on the expensive side.
“I don’t think anyone donates $50,000 out of the goodness of their heart.”
By keeping people out of the public arena, those who are involved in this affair hope to receive no flak for what they do. █
Microsoft: it does politics… and some software too