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Microsoft suspends PAC donations to members of Congress who voted against certification of electors

Microsoft logo
Microsoft logo (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft will suspend its PAC contributions through the 2022 election cycle to members of Congress who voted to object the certification of electors.
  • The company is creating a Democracy Forward Initiative that focuses on promoting public transparency, campaign finance reform, and voting rights.
  • Microsoft will rename its PAC to the Microsoft Corporation Stakeholders Voluntary PAC (MSVPAC).

Microsoft announced several changes to how it will handle political contributions going forward that go through its PAC. The PAC has a new name and will not make contributions for any members of Congress who voted to object the certification of electors (through the 2022 election cycle). Microsoft will also create what it calls the Democracy Forward Initiative to give its employees another option for donations.

Microsoft halted political contributions from the PAC last month following recent political events, including the storming of the U.S. Capitol. Microsoft President Brad Smith controversially defended and explained the donations in a private meeting to Microsoft employees, though donations stayed paused. The company then held six listening sessions with employees to discuss the PAC and how donations are handled. Now, several changes have occurred.

Microsoft outlines the changes in a blog post:

First, we will suspend contributions for the duration of the 2022 election cycle to all members of Congress who voted to object to the certification of electors. We will also suspend contributions for the same period for state officials and organizations who supported such objections or suggested the election should be overturned.Second, we've heard from some members of the PAC community who do not want to contribute to political candidates but instead would like to donate to work that will address the issues and policies that are important to the preservation and promotion of democracy. To address this, we will create a new Democracy Forward Initiative to support organizations that promote public transparency, campaign finance reform, and voting rights. We will have more details to share in coming weeks on the creation of this fund and how employees can contribute to it.Third, we will promote and join a conversation with other businesses and organizations that want to strengthen democracy. Recent events have raised issues of importance to PACs across the business community and companies across the nation, and we believe there is an opportunity to learn and work together.Finally, while less impactful, some employees felt the current PAC name did not capture the fact that it is funded exclusively by voluntary donations of Microsoft stakeholders – shareholders, employees, and family members – to support Microsoft's business objectives. We will therefore rename our PAC the Microsoft Corporation Stakeholders Voluntary PAC (MSVPAC).

These changes mark a major shift in how Microsoft handles political donations through its PAC. Not only will the company not donate to specific members of Congress due to their stance on certifying electors (through the 2022 election cycle), Microsoft is providing another option for Microsoft employees.

The Democracy Forward Initiative focuses on promoting public transparency, campaign finance reform, and voting rights. Microsoft will share more details on this in the coming weeks, but it will allow employees to donate to an initiative that addresses specific topics and reform.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

29 Comments
  • Ah yes. We have succeeded in singling out the members that voted no because they believed there was a possibility of voter fraud. At this point, if you don't agree with us, you will be singled out and you will be canceled. Discussion of opposing ideas used to be something that made this country great. Now we have the opposite.
  • When the thing you don't agree with is our constitutional election process, then yea. It's like telling your girlfriend that you don't like watching ballet with her, ...and btw, I also want to have an "open" relationship. One is a simple disagreement on stuff to do. The other one will end the relationship.
  • Kros, not a fair analogy, because the judicial and Congressional processes exist for exactly this kind of dispute. Reasonable people can disagree on the merits of their case, and that's OK. If those members of Congress had urged people to take up arms and stand against the government, then I'd agree with you, but that's not at all what they did. The debate that ensues is the best way to get to who's right and who's not. Doesn't guarantee we ever know for sure, but that's the best method we have and at the heart of our process. As a private company MS clearly has the right to donate to whomever it wants, but this is disturbing, because it's not donating based on what's best for its business. It's catering to a political point of view. Not good.
  • Reality is not a political point of view.
  • The media does not determine reality. Facts do. And the facts show that there are many things wrong with society and the lack of conversation happening leading to two very extremist sides. And continuing to put people down saying their opinions do not matter, as you are doing, is just adding gas to the fire. Facts say there were over 30 court cases about the election and whether there was fraud (most not from the Trump legal team). Facts say there was only one court case that allowed evidence to be shown (it was in Wisconsin) but it was dismissed because it had to go through a lower court first. There was not a thorough review of fraud whether you like it or not. And saying the people that say there could be fraud are wrong and hateful is just ignorance on your part.
  • Funny how when Trump won back in 2016 the Dems said the electors should refuse to cast their vote for Trump by giving it to Clinton since she won the popular vote. MS surely did not withhold money then. Really no difference. They wanted to change the outcome of the election back then.
  • Exactly. The majority of the Democrats in the House objected back in 2016. Only reason it didn't go anywhere was because there was no agreement with someone in the Senate as the rules dictate. This time there was. They also objected to giving Bush Florida in 2000 even though the SUPREME COURT had ruled they would go to him. Say what you want about baseless accusations of fraud, remember that it was the Hilary campaign that paid for a fake dossier be made to justify spying on the Trump campaign. Then drag the Russia collusion case for 4 years without any proof. Nothing ever happened to those that push it so heavily. In 2016 election interference and fraud was guaranteed, now it is impossible.
  • Weird, I must have missed the part where the Dems led an insurrection at the capital and killed multiple people in the process. Guess the news covered it up, right?
  • Sooo, you were sleeping all summer when Antifa and BLM killed dozens, burned cities and businesses (including minority owned), Kamala supported and paid to have the protestors bails posted, Biden supported them until August when he finally denounced them? The capital riots groups were lead by a BLM organizer, (arrest) an Antifa Organizer (arrest) and some right wing quacks call proud boys (arrest). So in a way, dems sure had a part in it. Research the facts instead of regurgitating BS from the news. easy to find facts.
    The constitution allowed for the objections. Even back when the dems did it. It was legal. Microsoft has always been left leaning. in fact most tech companies are.
  • Clueless, credulous, craven wretch. There's nothing to Democrats' hyperventilating over sedition, insurrection, and terrorism; they're merely exploiting the incident for political gain. A "large sum of anti trumpers" infiltrated and incited and committed violence in the Capitol: https://thenationalpulse.com/news/chat-logs-rally-plot-trump/ https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/caught-video-antifa-protester-j...
  • Russia, Ukraine, and "Insurrection!" are all Democrat projection. https://thenationalpulse.com/news/chat-logs-rally-plot-trump/ https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/caught-video-antifa-protester-j...
  • Who are 'the dems' that you mention? I'm sure some did, and I remember some articles about the possibility, but there was no organized movement to do so, and Dem states like Washington even sued 'faithless electors' to ensure this could not happen.
  • Time.com admitted today that the election was stolen. (The villain always monologues when he thinks he's won.)
  • Except they didn't disagree with the constitutional process. They felt it was not properly followed and wanted additional steps taken to see that the process was followed properly. I assume you also rebuke Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and others who claimed Russia stole the 2016 election and want them removed from office?
  • A possibility that came from Trump's head because he didn't want to lose, and never proved. Great.
  • The 'opposing idea' this time was insurrection. The last time that happened 620k citizens died in the Civil War. Lack of political donations is irrelevant compared to that.
  • If you could point me to anything someone said that was a call to arms, let me know. I do remember certain celebrities however saying they wanted our previous president assassinated.
  • Do you even think that what happened at the Capitol was bad?
  • Yes, I do. I think it wasn't an attempt of an insurrection though. Let's be honest, if a bunch of people were trying to take over the capital, they would bring guns. Like the the area in Portland. They had tons of guns and took over a part of the city for weeks. No one cares about that though.
  • Democrats were the fascists then, and they are today. The more things change, the more the Democrats stay the same.
  • This purpose-built echo chamber won't lead to further radicalization at all. /s
  • Reality is not an echo chamber.
  • It seems as though your 'reality' is an echo chamber.
  • Been a loyal microsoft fan since early 2000s. Now returning my Surface rpo x, surface Duo, and, Xbox, headphones, earbuds, no more ms launcher. I hey have every right to choose where their money goes, so do I. By Mic osoft.
  • Man, you are going to have a ton of fun in the Google or Apple ecosystems.....who are doing the same thing more or less. That said, nobody wants fascists' money anyway.
  • I won't use them either. Linux works fine. Also fascists are the ones shutting down conversation, even on the objectors, both sides believe the election went down differently. Instead of convincing the objectors with proof it wasn't stolen, they want to silence them. That's fascism. When the dems question trumps victory in 2016 I supported them investigating. Not banning them from seeking or smearing them. So who's the fascist?
  • Democrats have been challenging election results and inciting violence for decades and currently. Have Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon, et al. attempted to de-fund, de-platform, demonize, and destroy them? There's nothing to Democrats' hyperventilating over sedition, insurrection, and terrorism; they're merely exploiting the incident for political gain. A "large sum of anti trumpers" incited and committed violence in the Capitol: https://thenationalpulse.com/news/chat-logs-rally-plot-trump/ https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/caught-video-antifa-protester-j... (Similarly, some coward here banned and deleted @DecapitareVivit. Was it the misshapen, emotionally stunted dwarf @daniel_rubino?) How many murderous dictators have surrendered power peacefully after an election, let alone a stolen one? But you and your fellow travelers are silencing those whose arguments you can't refute. It's crystal-clear who the fascists are. Cowards. @Amillennialist (Gab and Twitter)
    @DecapitareVivit (Parler and Twitter)
  • Those are some good moves. It was great they listened to their employees like that. Though insisting only those who have integrity for democracy qualify is going to leave out pretty much leave out all Republicans from future donations. But hopefully a sane 2nd party arises from the ashes of the current Republican party.
  • "sane"? That's ironic.