EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.19.10

Waggener Edstrom and Microsoft’s Government Insider Defend the Company’s Reluctance to Pay Tax

Posted in Deception, Finance, Microsoft at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“In the fall of 1982, Pam Edstrom [of Waggener Edstrom], a diminutive woman with piercing blue eyes, was recruited by Microsoft. [...] In modern-day business, flacks were responsible not only for avoiding bad press, but for spinning the good. [...] Hanson and Edstrom would spin a whole new image for Gates himself. They would tap the best and worst of Chairman Bill, changing his clothes, his voice, and his allegiances, driving him to become not just the boss, but, essentially, the company mascot—a sort of high-technology Colonel Sanders.”

Pam’s daughter

Summary: Microsoft and its PR department are under great pressure, so instead of addressing the issue they just start spinning and lying with press presence and self-serving ‘studies’ that they fund

MICROSOFT’S bad habits when it comes to paying tax are made increasingly worse as the company not only refuses to pay tax like all citizens do but it also arranges campaigns to hide the problem. Why pay tax when it’s so much cheaper to just change perception? We wrote about it last week and this week we see similar responses from other sources, notably from Jeff Reifman, a former Microsoft employee who fights others like Rep. Hunter from Microsoft, who is now helping Microsoft escape tax in Washington. Watch Rep. Hunter as he continues to help his former employer while publicly denying that he does such a thing:

It appears that Rep. Hunter has successfully re-inserted the amnesty clause for Microsoft’s thirteen year Nevada tax dodge (earlier, Rep. Santos’ amendment had removed this clause for unrelated reasons).

(2) Section 201 of this act does not apply to any tax periods ending before May 1, 2010, that were included in a completed field audit conducted by the department.

Section 201 is the clause that was supposed to help the Dept. of Revenue crack down on these kinds of abusive tax transactions – more on this in a moment.

Interestingly, Rep. Hunter’s latest blog post is about Tax Freedom Day. Thanks to Rep. Hunter, April 10th is quickly becoming Tax Freedom Day for Microsoft.

This is the type of thing that happens when Microsoft employees enter the government. It’s more or less like legalised corruption. Microsoft Nick was among those who gave this PR routine its intended undeserved coverage [1, 2], but there is more on that rebuttal from Reifman right here. See the comments too.

As we pointed out last week, Microsoft had arranged — along with its outsourced PR department — a bunch of fake ‘studies’ and press events to spin what it’s doing in Washington. Reifman responds:

Last week, Microsoft’s PR firm, Waggener Edstrom, invited local reporters to a press conference with Microsoft General Counsel and possible architect of its Nevada tax dodge, Brad Smith, to discuss an update to a Microsoft-funded University of Washington study on Microsoft’s overwhelming economic impact on our state.

[...]

The only problem with Microsoft’s WagEd press conference is if you actually pay any attention to the illogic of Mr. Smith’s message. For example, quoting from TechFlash:

* “It absolutely remains the case that Washington state is Microsoft’s home.” – unless of course we’re reporting the revenue received from our $20.7 billion annual licensing business, the home for that business is in Nevada.

* “If you’d ask what is more at play in the future, it’s more a question of whether the jobs that Microsoft is able to add will be added in Washington state, another state, or outside the United States. The big issues playing into that decision include the company’s ability to secure visas for foreign workers, quality of life (including education, transportation and cultural life) and the cost of doing business”

In other words, in order for Microsoft to add more jobs in Washington State, it needs to secure more visas for foreign workers.

Brad Smith is part of the tax fiasco [1, 2, 3], yet here he is along with Waggener Edstrom just lying to trick the public for PR purposes. Microsoft’s Tax Dodge has an audio track now. Their problem is not going away.

It is going to get even worse. Based on this new post, Microsoft will consciously expand its influence in the United States government by inreasing/pacing up lobbyists in Olympia:

It would be naive to say Microsoft hasn’t had plenty of influence on Washington politics through lobbyists in Olympia. But the state’s second-largest private employer plans to be more publicly vocal about issues its leadership thinks are important, an executive said.

Microsoft is already funding more ‘studies’ in the University of Washington (that’s where the tax dodge was justified, by paying academics) that are to have an impact on the press, which asks no questions about Microsoft’s known bias.

According to a new University of Washington study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, California’s pregnancy-related death rate (19 per 100,000 in 2008) is higher than the national average (17 per 100,000). It’s double that of Canada and most Western European nations, and it’s worse than Bosnia, Serbia, Poland and Qatar.

Here is another new example of self-serving ‘studies’ but one that we’ll expand on later.

The school counseling world experienced a bit of a shakeup recently when a report entitled “Can I get a Little Advice Here?” was released by the Public Agenda (www.publicagenda.org) for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

[...]

Unfortunately, the Gates Foundation report did not discuss some of these barriers and why it might be that a counselor did not have time to provide the services the students who were surveyed were seeking. No recommendations were given as to how to change these trends nor did the report highlight how in some schools, with proper support and staffing, school counselors indeed make a difference in the lives of their students. Hopefully, that’s the next report to be released on behalf of the Gates Foundation.

Same here:

In a recent poll conducted by Microsoft, 56% of the teens questioned think the Web allows bullies to prosper, while 67% say they spend most of their time using Facebook and MySpace.

A poll conducted by Microsoft is simply not reliable.

Here is another last finding. Just like Rep. Hunter acts as Microsoft’s guardian in Washington’s government, Gary Gigot does his service through another policy-making move from Microsoft veterans. See the following short new report:

Washington’s Governor “joined us” on stage for a role-playing exercise. And with the help of a prototype Time Machine, we explored several opportunities for businesses, researchers and policymakers to create a prosperous future in clean energy.

[...]

Panelist Gary Gigot is Chief Marketing Officer at Optimum Energy. His company reduces energy use in the air-conditioning systems of large, commercial office buildings.

Forthrightness compels me to add that Optimum Energy is a past client. I was the company’s interim VP of marketing in 2007, up until Gigot was recruited as CMO. Gigot brings his prior experience in marketing at Microsoft and, prior to that, Visio.

With the prior role as a Microsoft marketer, can he be trusted to be unbiased?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. williami said,

    April 19, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Gravatar

    In other news, the Madison Metropolitan School District is now getting rid of their dependence on Micro$oft software. But, they are thinking to switching to all-Google software, and I want a giant leap to a proper GNU/Linux distrubution…

What Else is New


  1. South Korea's Government Will Show If Microsoft Loves Linux or Just Attacks It Very Viciously Like It Did in Munich

    Microsoft's hatred of all things GNU/Linux is always put to the test when someone 'dares' use it outside Microsoft's control and cash cows (e.g. Azure and Vista 10/WSL); will Microsoft combat its longstanding urge to corrupt or oust officials with the courage to say "no" to Microsoft?



  2. Links 19/5/2019: KDE Applications 19.04.1 in FlatHub and GNU/Linux Adoption

    Links for the day



  3. The War on Patent Quality

    A look at the EPO's reluctance to admit errors and resistance to the EPC, which is its very founding document



  4. Watchtroll, Composed by Patent Trolls, Calls the American Patent System “Corrupt”

    Another very fine piece from Watchtroll comes from very fine patent trolls who cheer for Donald Trump as if he's the one who tackles corruption rather than spreading it



  5. Unified Patent Court Won't Happen Just Because the Litigation Microcosm Wants It

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) hopefuls are quote-mining and cherry-picking to manufacture the false impression that the UPC is just around the corner when in reality the UPC is pretty much dead (but not buried yet)



  6. Links 17/5/2019: South Korea's GNU/Linux Pivot, Linux 5.1.3

    Links for the day



  7. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 4: Happy Birthday to the Kötter Group?

    This year the Kötter Group commemorates the 85th anniversary of its existence. But is it really a cause for celebration or would a less self-congratulatory approach be more fitting? And does it create the risk that a routine tendering exercise at the EPO will turn into Operation Charlie Foxtrot?



  8. Links 16/5/2019: Cockpit 194, VMware Acquires Bitnami, Another Wine Announcement and Krita 4.2.0 Beta

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO's Key Function -- Like the UPC's Vision -- Has Virtually Collapsed

    The EPO no longer issues good patents and staff is extremely unhappy; but the Office tries to create an alternate (false) reality and issues intentionally misleading statements



  10. Stanford's NPE Litigation Database Makes a Nice Addition in the Fight Against Software Patent Trolls

    As the United States of America becomes less trolls- and software patents-friendly (often conflated with plaintiff (un)friendliness) it's important to have accurate data which documents the numbers and motivates better policy; The NPE (troll) Litigation Database is a move towards that and it's free to access/use



  11. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 3: “Ein kritikwürdiges Unternehmen”

    A brief account of some further controversies in which the Kötter Group has been involved and its strained relations with German trade unions such as Verdi



  12. EPO Had a Leakage Problem and Privacy of Stakeholders Was Compromised, Affecting at Least 100 Cases

    The confidentiality principle was compromised at the EPO and stakeholders weren't told about it (there was a coverup)



  13. Links 15/5/2019: More Linux Patches and More Known Intel Bugs

    Links for the day



  14. False Hope for Patent Maximalists and Litigation Zealots

    Patent litigation predators in the United States, along with Team UPC in Europe, are trying to manufacture optimistic predictions; a quick and rather shallow critical analysis reveals their lies and distortions



  15. The Race to the Bottom of Patent Quality at the EPO

    The EPO has become more like a rubber-stamper than a patent office — a fact that worries senior staff who witnessed this gradual and troublesome transition (from quality to raw quantity)



  16. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 2: Meet the Kötters

    An introduction to the Kötter Group, the private security conglomerate which is lined up for the award of a juicy EUR 30 million contract for the provision of security services at the EPO



  17. Links 14/5/2019: Red Hat Satellite 6.5, NVIDIA 430.14 Linux Driver and New Security Bug (MDS)

    Links for the day



  18. Links 14/5/2019: GNU/Linux in Kerala, DXVK 1.2, KDE Frameworks 5.58.0 Released

    Links for the day



  19. Q2 Midterm Weather Forecast for EPOnia, Part 1: Urgent Shitstorm Alert

    Experts at the European Patent Office's (EPO) weather observation station have just issued an urgent alert warning about a major shitstorm looming on the horizon



  20. Patents That Were Gleefully Granted by the EPO Continue to Perish in Courts

    The decreasing quality of granted European Patents already becomes a growing problem if not a crisis of uncertainty



  21. Links 13/5/2019: ExTiX 19.5 and GNU Radio Conference 2019

    Links for the day



  22. The Microsoft Guide to the Open Source Galaxy

    Thou shalt not...



  23. Microsoft Would Kill the Goose for Money

    Microsoft is just 'monetising' Open Source by using it as 'bait' for Microsoft's proprietary software; those who we might expect to antagonise this have effectively been bribed by Microsoft



  24. Links 13/5/2019: Nanonote 1.2.0, OpenMandriva Lx 4.0 RC, and GNUnet 0.11.4

    Links for the day



  25. Professionally Incompetent EPO Management

    The EPO remains an awful employer, with top-level management largely responsible for the loss of talent and even money



  26. Links 12/5/2019: Linux 5.1.1, GDB 8.3, KStars 3.2.2 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Did Battistelli 'Steal' ~$100,000,000 Euros From the EPO?

    While enjoying diplomatic immunity the thug from CEIPI (who is back at the EPO as a jurist) passed millions if not billions (over the long run) in liabilities; this was done with total and inexcusable impunity, no effective oversight



  28. The Biased EPO Does Not Want to Hear From Anyone Except Those Who Pay the EPO

    The EPO's corruption and violations of the law are a threat to everyone in the world; the EPO only ever listens to those who pay for "access" or those who embrace the "religion" of the EPO



  29. Team UPC Has Run Out of Arguments, So Now It's Just Writing Anti-Brexit Rants With Testicles in the Headlines

    Nothing has worked for firms that crafted and lobbied hard for the Unified Patent Court (UPC); after necrophilia a new low is being reached



  30. Making the Patent System About Productive Actors (Again), Not a Bunch of Law Firms and Trolls

    The US patent system is going out of shape and out of tune, just like the EPO when Battistelli came to it, dismantling the rule of law and even judges whom he did not like


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts