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:
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.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.