Once again, Microsoft's public persona is found misaligned with its own business actions as the Center for Political Accountability reports the company donated $3 million to Republican organizations that ultimately worked to overturn of Roe v. Wade.
The CPA, which documents political contributions explained to Bloomberg earlier this week that Microsoft has donated $3 million over the past twelve years to the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican Governors Association among other groups.
While contributions made over a decade ago may have been for other lobbying efforts by the company, Microsoft's donations have unfortunately ended up being used by Republican groups to elect officials who have ultimately engineered anti-abortion legislation.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Microsoft has publicly committed to expanding its employees' benefits packages to include travel costs for those seeking abortion care outside of their own states.
However, an ethical activist shareholder group from the UK called Tulipshare has honed in on Microsoft's political hypocrisy as cause for partnering with the CPA to pressure the company towards more transparency regarding its political donations.
According to Tulipshare's chief marketing officer, the group has already begun engaging with other well-known tech industry companies such as Apple, Salesforce and Amazon to require PACs they share donations with, to publicly report on the candidates and causes they support on an annual basis.
Tulipshare and the Center for Political Accountability (“CPA”) request that Microsoft adopt a policy requiring that any trade association, social welfare organization, or organization organized and operated primarily to engage in political activities that seeks financial support from Microsoft agree to report to Microsoft, at least annually, the organization's expenditures for political activities, including the amount spent and the recipient, and that each such report be posted on Microsoft’s website.
However, if Tulipshare's straightforward proposal is not addressed, the group is also prepared to engage with Microsoft investors directly to prompt a motion to mandate greater transparency from the company.
While Tulipshare starts from a place of good intentions, it's hard to view Microsoft as a good-faith actor who would be willing to consider its mandate as its donations to the Republican Attorneys General Association were accompanied by emails to supporters explaining the plan to combat "Democrat's pro-abortion agenda."
In addition, Microsoft recently donated "$233,000 to 119 lawmakers who voted against the abortion rights bill, giving the maximum donation of $5,000 to nine of them," according to OpenSecrets.org.
Microsoft has declined to comment on OpenSecrets reporting and has been relatively silent on its political contributions since holding its public "listening sessions" back in February 2021, to address the concerns from employees, families and stakeholders who make up its revamped PAC