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Reading the Tea Leaves: Google Donates Big Money to Obama

There’s no shortage of warnings about what the next four years could involve should President Obama win reelection whether it’s the continuation of Obamacare implementation or Supreme Court nominations. But it’s worth noting the sources of his contributions as well, not only from individuals but from corporations. Specifically which corporations and what the influence of those corporations might tell us about legislative priorities of a second term.

Take Google for example. Google has long had a wealth of connections to the Obama administration – providing the re-election campaign with technology guidance, Eric Schmidt advising Obama himself on policy, Google employees donating over $800,000 to Obama in 2008.

But data newly compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics shows that despite Google’s apparent newfound interest in cultivating relationships with Republicans – and that, despite significant differences on policy including net neutrality (which Google has favored for a long time), privacy protection, and government support for green energy stimulus (advocated by Schmidt himself in his Obama policy advisor role) – Google employees are continuing to show their love for the President by cutting him checks, even as roughly half the electorate is souring on Obama’s approach and wishing him gone.

To-date this cycle, Google employees have donated over $660,000 to Obama.

As you might guess, Romney is barely on the radar.

Now, Google is a corporation with employees and executives that are free to donate to whomever they wish and for whatever reason they wish. However, that’s not the point. As much as we want Mitt Romney to win and as much as that becomes a stronger possibility with each passing day, we must prepare ourselves for what is coming should the unthinkable happen.

There’s often talk of special interests and soft money in politics. Democrats love pointing at Wal-mart and ALEC as examples of corporate influence over our democracy. But there’s no denying that Eric Schmidt & much of Google’s upper echelons (as well as many regular employees) will likely expect and receive a seat at the table in a second Obama term.

So when you see that friend that says he’s still going to vote for Gary Johnson because Mitt Romney is no better, ask them which candidate will be seating one of the largest supporters of Net Neutrality at the table and who would be most likely to sign the bill should it come to his desk.

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