President Donald Trump has repeatedly taken aim at Amazon
however right here’s one thing the president will not be conscious of: Amazon staff and the individuals linked to them seem like donating to GOP candidates like by no means earlier than.
Republicans have obtained virtually $820,000 to date this yr from Amazon staff, their spouses and/or dependents, up greater than 90% from the virtually $425,000 they donated to the GOP in 2016, in keeping with the Middle for Responsive Politics’ database.
They’re, nonetheless, nonetheless donating extra to Democrats, with roughly $1.25 million going to Democratic candidates and events.
In truth, contributions from Amazon “associates” — the identify CRP provides to Amazon staff themselves, their non-working spouses or dependents — through the years have traditionally leaned, generally closely so, to Democrats, the CRP information present.
However that divide appears to be like to be narrowing, even in an election cycle the place some observers are predicting a “blue wave” of Democrat victory.
Amazon staff’ whole political contributions leapt this yr. They’ve given a complete of $12.2 million this yr, in comparison with $1.7 million in 2016.
Most of that surge is because of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ own $10 million donation to a brilliant PAC, With Honor Fund, which is gunning to get army veterans elected. The PAC is supporting each Democrats and Republican candidates of their Home of Representatives bids.
An Amazon spokeswoman declined to touch upon employee and member of the family donations.
Karen Sebold, a professor on the College of Arkansas specializing in marketing campaign finance issues, mentioned she wasn’t shocked by the soar in donations to Republicans. The occasion now controls Congress, the presidency and has massive presences in state legislatures and governors’ places of work, she famous.
“Amazon, like most different firms, is probably going to present to either side of the aisle and try to curry favor with the bulk occasion,” she mentioned. “Given the method by the present nationwide authorities to push web impartial insurance policies and reign in free commerce, I’m not shocked that Amazon is giving extra lately to the candidates that will decide their monetary progress and longevity.”
President Trump has lashed out at Amazon previously
Trump has griped about Amazon, claiming the corporate pays “little to no taxes to state & native governments” and bought the higher hand in a U.S. Postal System deal to ship items and has been “putting many thousands of retailers out of business!”
One nameless supply mentioned the businessman turned commander-in-chief is reportedly “obsessed” with flattening Bezos, the world’s richest man, down a pair pegs.
Amazon and Bezos have their critics on the left too. Final month, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont unveiled the BEZOS act to tax corporations on the federal advantages their staff use on issues like meals stamps and housing subsidies.
However Sanders credited Bezos this month for growing staff’ minimal wage to $15 per hour, calling it “a shot heard around the world.”
Sanders and Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, despatched a letter to Amazon on Tuesday “to specific our alarm” over a video despatched to managers at Complete Meals, the upscale natural grocery enterprise it acquired final yr. The progressive pair mentioned the video “expresses specific opposition to union organizing.”
Amazon responded in a press release that it revered employee rights to prepare and adopted all employment legal guidelines together with the Nationwide Labor Relations Act.
In the course of the 2016 presidential elections, Amazon staff and members of the family contributed greater than $100,000 to Sanders’ major bid, however greater than $400,000 to Hillary Clinton’s marketing campaign. In the meantime, staff and household donated $5,502 to Trump in the identical timeframe.
Senator Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington, is the highest recipient to date within the 2018, raking in additional than $46,000 from Amazon staff and their members of the family, the Middle for Responsive Politics mentioned.
The primary Republican on the recipients checklist is Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, coming in at No. 10. He’s obtained $15,700 from Amazon staff and the individuals linked them.
Amazon’s PAC has donated $1 million to federal candidates
The corporate’s personal political motion committee has donated simply over $1 million to federal candidates, as of information from final month: 52% of the cash has gone to Republicans, whereas 48% has gone to Democrats, the data present.
The PAC’s spending has elevated enormously from 2014 when the committee dished out round $150,000, with 51% going to Democrats and 49% going to Republicans.
Professor Michael Malbin, govt director of the non-partisan Marketing campaign Finance Institute, mentioned Amazon’s PAC was “fairly bi-partisan,” like most company PACs. “That’s as a result of most company PACs are giving to take care of entry to incumbents,” he mentioned.
In truth, Amazon PAC spending doesn’t come near the highest spenders, in keeping with the Middle for Responsive Politics.
The PAC for protection contractor Northrop Grumman
has spent $2.6 million between this yr and final yr, with 58% of the donations going to Republican candidates. An organization consultant didn’t reply instantly to a request for remark.
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