The New York Times proclaims Silicon Valley “takes a right turn” after PACs “associated with Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon” donated more money to Republican congressional candidates last year than Democrats, despite overwhelming opposition to Trump from Silicon Valley elites in the 2016 presidential election.
In a report from The New York Times, the newspaper claims that these PACs “broke ranks with the traditional allegiance of the broad tech sector to the Democratic Party,” adding that “their concerns over government regulatory policy have intensified — on issues including privacy, taxation, automation and antitrust.”
“These are questions on which they appear to view Republicans as stronger allies than Democrats,” author Thomas B. Edsall declared. He admitted, however, “Most tech executives and employees remain supportive of Democrats, especially on social and cultural issues.”
Last year, the four PACs associated with Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Amazon reportedly donated a total of $2.1 million to Republican congressional candidates, while just $1.5 million was donated to Democrats by these PACs.
Claiming that “Microsoft has led the rightward charge,” The New York Times explained, “In 2008, the Microsoft PAC decisively favored Democrats, 60-40, according to data compiled by the indispensable Center for Responsive Politics.”
“By 2012, Republican candidates and committees had taken the lead, 54-46; and by 2016, the Microsoft PAC had become decisively Republican, 65-35,” the article continued. “Microsoft employees’ contributions followed a comparable pattern. In 2008 and 2012, Microsoft workers were solidly pro-Democratic, with 71 percent and 65 percent of their contributions going to party members. By 2016, the company’s work force had shifted gears. Democrats got 47 percent of their donations.”
The newspaper noted the change in Facebook’s PAC as well, which “backed Democrats over Republicans 64-35, while the company’s PAC tilted Republican, 53-46,” in 2012. “By 2016, when total Facebook contributions reached $3.8 million, the Democratic advantage in employee donations shrank to 51-47, while the PAC continued to favor Republicans, 56-44.”
“Trump has provided a temporary solution for the Republican Party,” concluded the newspaper. “The Democrats need to find a legitimate and more lasting one.”
Donald Trump’s candidacy was widely opposed by Silicon Valley leaders, with over 140 executives and leaders signing an open letter in July of 2016 condemning the now president-elect.