Why is Google, which is traditionally considered liberal-leaning, donating money to conservative organizations and even cosponsoring the most recent Republican GOP debate alongside Fox News?
According to the Huffington Post, Google has been giving money to “the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Republican Governors Association, the GOP firm The David All Group, Crossroads Strategies, the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican State Leadership Committee, among others.”
Interesting. HuffPo reports:
Republicans in the House and Senate reacted with pleasant surprise when told by HuffPost that Google had started donating to movement conservatives. “Are you saying they’re finally becoming bipartisan? That’s a good thing. Bipartisanship is a positive thing,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the head of the Senate GOP’s fundraising arm and one of three Republicans on the subcommittee holding the antitrust hearing. “I understand why people feel like they need to have people they can talk to on both sides.”
Google’s new found bipartisanship, as reported by the Huffington Post, seems to stem from its long-standing conflict with Microsoft, which has donated more than 10 times the amount of money than Google to those in the political arena:
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, speaking to reporters after his sworn testimony Wednesday, said that Microsoft had been lobbying hard to pressure Congress to bring the antitrust hammer down on Google — the blunt pain of which Microsoft knows all too well.
Schmidt’s rivalry with Microsoft has deep roots, dating back to his days as an executive with Sun Microsystems in the 1980s, when Microsoft — in the eyes of Silicon Valley start-ups and, ultimately, the U.S. Department of Justice — threatened to lock down the digital free market in America. The top tech executives have been at each ever since.
The conflict between Google and Microsoft has also triggered an international war over the nature of intellectual property, as to how — and whether — knowledge should be owned.
Google is benefiting from the freedom-loving street cred it won by theatrically bailing from China — or at least publicly proclaiming its independence — to shield its drive to succeed where Microsoft failed a decade ago. Meanwhile, Microsoft is using its remaining influence to fight Google, allied with the American entertainment industry and a loose coalition of tech companies, from Facebook to Travelocity to Yelp.
Last week, Google Chief Executive Chairman Eric Schmitt testified before the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee against allegations that Google was stifling websites that were competitive to its own on Google searches. Microsoft allies Yelp and Nextag were present to testify against. According to the Huffington Post, Microsoft hasn’t hid its efforts to try and “rein in Google:”
Its complaint to the European Union, for instance, was made publicly, and it fully acknowledges its lead participation in a coalition, FairSearch.org, organized to lobby on behalf of antitrust action against Google. “Clearly Microsoft were the first people to start to blow the clarion call” on anti-trust issues, said one top Microsoft mercenary. “They had the resources to get people engaged in thinking about it, but I don’t think they’ve had any trouble getting people to agree.” Indeed, Google’s public critics have been multiplying almost as quickly as their lobbying roster.
Google is also reportedly upping the number of lobbying firms it employees — up to 18 firms — making it the third largest lobbying spender in the technology industry. Both Google and Microsoft have lobbying firms that, according to the Huffington Post, work on antitrust, patents, copyright, trade and China issues.
Some of Google’s anti-conservative efforts include removing conservative blogs and other sites from its news section because they were “offensive” in 2006, according to American Thinker. American Thinker also reported similar reasons for a YouTube video from Fox News pundit Michelle Malkin being removed.