Either there is something in the water in Silicon Valley — or more than a dozen of the best-known firms in the information technology industry somehow manage to hire almost nobody who contributes to the Republican Party and its candidates.
Ninety-one percent of the employees at Facebook, Netflix and Hulu who made political contributions during the past decade gave to Democrats and Democratic Party campaign committees, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) data compiled by Zippia. The data include only contributions by individuals who disclosed their employer.
Zippia is a San Mateo, California-based information technology firm that specializes in providing industry-by-industry data of interest particularly to job seekers.
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Close behind that trio came Alphabet (Google’s corporate parent) and Salesforce at 90 percent, Autodesk at 89 percent, and Apple, with 88 percent of its employees giving to Democrats.
Also in the 80 percent bracket are Amazon (87 percent), Adobe Systems (86 percent), and Intuit and Microsoft at 80 percent.
The only famous Silicon Valley firms from among these 16 in the 70 percent bracket are Nvidia at 78 percent, Intel at 73 percent, and Oracle at 72 percent.
Only a pair of firms, Cisco and Dell, showed less than 70 percent of their employees writing checks to support Democrats, with both at 68 percent.
Overall, the average among the 16 firms was nearly 83 percent giving to Democrats.
Campaign contributions aren’t the only path to political influence for special interests or Fortune 500 corporations, but money does make a difference. How big a difference may be seen in the recent firing by Google of programmer James Damore.
Damore made the mistake of expressing some politically incorrect views about the roles and qualifications of men and women in the information technology field. A few days after the memo went viral, Damore was booted and he appealed to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Then he hired attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon to pursue a lawsuit on the matter.
“The National Labor Relations Act protects the right of employees to comment on their working conditions and so the memo James wrote was covered by that,” Dhillon said Friday night on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”
The regional NLRB office agreed, Dhillon said, but then nothing happened for weeks. The reason was, according to Dhillon, that “Google went and lobbied the Washington office of the NLRB, and the Obama holdovers who control it decided to overrule their regional office of career professionals.”
Damore’s unhappy experience is significant for millions of working Americans because, as Dhillon pointed out, “In agencies, a lot of very critical decisions about the futures of companies are made by faceless bureaucrats. What Google employees may not know is that Google employs an army of lawyers who are actively lobbying the NLRB to cut back the rights of workers.”
The apparent uniformity of political thought among top information technology companies starkly contrasts with the situation at familiar workplaces across the rest of the country. Walmart employees, for example, came in at 68 percent Republican and ExxonMobil at 63 percent Republican.
“Apple and Walmart employees have both made big donations, but to opposing parties, proving that politics’ favorite color is not red or blue, but green,” said Zippia spokesman Nick Brady.
In the heavily unionized auto industry, 64 percent of General Motors employees said they gave to Democrats, compared to 60 percent at Ford Motor Co. Fifty-one percent of the Honda U.S. employees gave to Republicans, while 53 percent of those at Toyota USA gave to Democrats. No data were available for Fiat Chrysler.
Among department stores, Kohl’s employees were 62 percent Democrat, while 69 percent of those at Target backed Democrats. In the defense industry, 90 percent of Lockheed Martin workers gave to Republicans, compared to 55 percent of Boeing employees, who gave to Democrats.
Showing remarkable balance in the political giving of their respective workforces were Home Depot and Lowe’s. Slightly more than 50 percent of the former gave to Republicans, while 51 percent did so at Lowe’s. The CVS drug store chain’s workers were also nicely balanced, with 50 percent giving to the GOP, 41.7 percent to Democrats, and the remainder to independents.
For Marriott International, 62 percent of the workers said they gave to Democrats. At Holiday Inn Club Vacations, 82 percent of the employees backed Democrats.
Bias toward Democrats was particularly strong among major media outlets. The New York Times, at 97 percent Democrat, was highest, followed by The Washington Post at 91 percent. The Democrat figure at CNN was 77 percent — while at Gannett it was 78 percent.
The most “fair and balanced” among the media outlets? Fully 56 percent of those working for Fox News contributed to Democrats.