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Big tech employees opened wallets for the Biden campaign



WASHINGTON – Employees of large technology companies were a major source of funding for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, showing recently released campaign funding records and darkened donations from employees of traditional Democratic fundraisers such as banks and law firms.

Employees of Google’s parents, Alphabet Inc., and Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. were the top five sources of money for Mr. Biden̵

7;s campaign and joint fundraising committee among those who identified employers, to a Wall Street Journal analysis of campaign funding reports.

Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign received at least $ 15.1 million from employees of the five technology companies. The companies declined to comment.

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Former Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama also received large contributions from technology company employees, but their main sources of employee donation went beyond the technology sector.

Ms. Clinton’s largest sources of funding from those who identified employers in 2016 included employees of the law firm Personal Injury Morgan & Morgan and JPMorgan Chase & Co., along with Google, Microsoft and Apple, according to electoral registers prepared by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Policy.

Four years earlier, Obama’s top sources for corporate contributions included Microsoft and Google, but also Deloitte, Time Warner, now part of AT&T Inc., and the law firm DLA Piper.

Although companies are prohibited from giving directly to campaigns, their employees are free to give as individuals, and collectively they provide a window into the links of workers who are politically active enough to donate across different industries.

The most important sources of money from corporate employees for the Republican incumbent Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2020 were employees of American Airlines Group Inc., Boeing Co., Bank of America Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co., according to the Center for Responsive Policy’s analysis.

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The findings come as Republicans have claimed that major technology companies are biased against them, including allegations that companies with electronic platforms such as Facebook and Google censor online content to favor liberal views.

“There’s a link between the technology industry and many Republicans,” said Doug Heye, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee. “We do not like Silicon Valley – and they do not like us.”

Facebook, Google and other technology platforms have previously denied that their employees’ policies affect how they run their business.

Some Democrats believe that companies have grown too large, and that their platforms have allowed the spread of false political information that helped Mr. Trump.

Google, Facebook and Amazon are already targets for antitrust investigations, and there is bipartisan support in Congress for measures that can reduce their influence. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai will testify at a House of Representatives next month.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter Inc. CEO Jack Dorsey and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai will testify at a House of Representatives next month. (Getty Images)

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Mr. Biden has signaled that he supports the abolition of the broad legal immunity that technology companies currently enjoy for information transmitted over their networks.

As the Biden administration settles, technology companies are awaiting key elections for the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The agreements could determine how aggressively the government handles existing investigations or get new ones, advisers to the companies said.

The journal’s analysis is based on the latest data from the Federal Election Commission covering the 2020 election cycle for Mr. Biden’s campaign, two joint fundraising committees and individual donations to these committees through the online donation platform ActBlue. The journal examined campaign funding data to make a list of companies whose employees donated the most money.

The analysis was based on a standardized version of the self-reported employer information on each donation and should be treated as an estimate because some of the public records are incomplete or incomplete.

Employees of large technology companies were an important source of contribution to Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, according to recently released campaign finance records. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

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Because online donation platforms that specify even the smallest contribution were not used as much in 2016 and 2012, data from previous years only includes information about donors who donated more than $ 200 to a campaign.

About two-thirds of the money in the presidential race is donated to candidates from individuals, who can give up to $ 2,800 to a candidate for the last election. Those who donate $ 200 or more must provide the names of employers.

While companies are prohibited from making financial donations to National Office candidates, many companies operate Political Action Committees, or PACs, which are employee-funded accounts that companies use to donate money to favored candidates. Relatively little money in the presidential election comes from corporate PACs. Labor unions spend millions of dollars every election to support Democratic candidates.

Technology associates made donations to other political entities that worked to elect Mr. Biden and other Democrats, including the Future Forward United States PAC, which spent millions of dollars on the 2020 election.

According to the Journal’s analysis, Mr. Biden’s campaign received $ 3.7 million from employees of five of the largest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan. In the last election, these companies ranked among the best sources of money for the Democratic presidential candidate.

Biden’s campaign received $ 3.7 million from employees of five of the largest Wall Street firms: Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan)

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That was less than the total contribution to Mr. Biden of Alphabet employees, who donated $ 5.3 million, making the technology company the first source of money, the Journal analysis shows.

Google employees were the main source of donations to Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the second largest source of money for the Obama race in 2012.

Amazon employees contributed a total of $ 2.8 million to Mr. Biden’s campaign. Amazon was the third largest source of money among Mr. Biden’s companies in the election. The company had not been a major source of campaign money for former Democratic candidates.

Microsoft employees have long been a top source of money for Democratic presidential candidates. Microsoft employees donated $ 3.2 million to Mr. Biden during the election.

Facebook employees have emerged as a top source of money, donating $ 1.9 million to the campaign, it shows.

Other top sources of money for Mr. Biden were employees of Lowercase Capital, Oracle Corp., Netflix Inc., Saban Capital Group and Morgan & Morgan, according to data analyzed by the Journal. Lowercase Capital is a venture capital firm that was an early investor in Twitter, Uber Technologies Inc. and Instagram, now part of Facebook.

–Chad Day contributed to this article.


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