Two weeks ago, on the 11th January, we reported that Microsoft was pausing all its political giving “until after it assesses the implications of last week’s events.”
Those events, of course, include the Capitol Hill riots and the Electoral College certification process which followed.
At the time we accused Microsoft of playing it safe, as other companies more explicitly acted against politicians who were facilitating the dangerous narrative of a stolen election, while Microsoft appeared to be simply stepping away from the argument by treating all sides equally.
Now in an update to their blog post this week discussing the motivations for their political giving, Microsoft President Brad Smith made it clear that they planned to ultimately act against those senators who opposed the certification of then President-Elect Joe Biden, in what was widely seen as an attempted coup against the rightful winner of the election.
Microsoft confirmed publicly today, as it announced internally on Jan. 8, that it has halted all donations of its PAC while it reviews whether to suspend further donations to individuals who voted against certification of the Electoral College. The company added that it will announce its decision by Feb. 15 after completing discussions with its employees. As Microsoft executives have said internally to employees, this is not a normal year. The company believes that opposition to the Electoral College undermined American democracy and should have consequences.
The list of those targetted would include Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, Mississippi Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, Kansas Senator Roger Marshall, Louisiana Senator John Kennedy, and Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville.
Many conservatives have argued objecting against the electors is a normal part of the American democratic process, while others have argued that on this occasion the motivation was to have Mike Pence overturn the outcome of the election, something Donald Trump was explicitly promoting. It appears Microsoft subscribes to this view and feels this treasonous action should have financial consequences for those involved.