Don’t Be Evil? Google Funding a Slew of Right-Wing Groups

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This post originally appeared at PR Watch.

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Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.

Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference) and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action.

In 2013, Google also funded the corporate lobby group, the American Legislative Exchange Council, although that group is not listed as receiving “substantial” funding in the list published by Google.

US corporations are not required to publicly disclose their funding of political advocacy groups, and very few do so, but since at least 2010 Google has chosen to voluntarily release some limited details about grants it makes to US nonprofits. The published list from Google is not comprehensive, including only those groups that “receive the most substantial contributions from Google’s US Federal Public Policy and Government Affairs team.”

What Google considers “substantial” is not explained — no dollar amounts are given — but the language suggests significant investments from Google and, with a stock value of $330 billion, Google has considerably deep pockets.

Google has a distinctively progressive image, but in March 2012 it hired former Republican member of the House of Representatives, Susan Molinari as its Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations. According to the New York Times, Molinari is being “paid handsomely to broaden the tech giant’s support beyond Silicon Valley Democrats and to lavish money and attention on selected Republicans.”

New “Substantial” Right-Wing Google Grants in Past Year

CMD examined the information released by Google for the years 2010 to 2013. The voluntary disclosures indicate that the following groups are either new grantees of Google since September 2012, or have been listed as having received a “substantial” Google grant for the first time:

  • American Conservative Union
  • Americans for Tax Reform
  • CATO Institute
  • Federalist Society
  • George Mason University Law School Law and Economics Center
  • Heritage Action
  • Mercatus Center
  • National Taxpayers Union
  • R Street Institute
  • Texas Public Policy Foundation

Detailed information on each of these groups can be found at CMD’s Sourcewatch website.

Google Funding for Anti-Government Groups

Heritage Action, the tea-party styled political advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation, is perhaps the most surprising recipient of Google’s largesse.

More than any other group working to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Heritage Action pushed for a sustained government shutdown in the fall of 2013, taking the country to the brink of a potentially catastrophic debt default.

Laying the ground for that strategy, Heritage Action held a nine-city “Defund Obamacare Town Hall Tour” in August 2013, providing a platform for Texas Senator Ted Cruz to address crowds of cheering tea party supporters.

For Cruz, increasingly spoken of as a 2016 presidential candidate, the government shutdown helped raise his profile and build his supporter — and donor — base.

Notably, Heritage Action received $500,000 from the Koch-funded and Koch-operative staffed Freedom Partners in 2012. It is not yet known how much Heritage Action received in 2013 from sources other than Google.

Perhaps surprisingly, Google has a history of supporting Cruz. Via its Political Action Committee – Google Inc. Net PAC – the PAC provided the “Ted Cruz for Senate” campaign with a $10,000 contribution in 2012. Additionally, despite being five years out from the freshman senator’s next election, Google’s PAC has already made a $2,500 contribution to the Cruz reelection campaign for 2018, the largest amount that the PAC has given so far to any Senate candidate running that election year, according to disclosures made by Google.

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the anti-government group run by Republican operative Grover Norquist, was another new recipient of funding from Google in 2013. ATR is best known for its “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” and for its fundamentalist attacks on any Republican who might dare to vote for any increase in taxes. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, ATR received 85 percent of its funding in 2012 ($26.4 million) from the ultra-partisan Karl Rove-run Crossroads GPS, another dark money group.

ATR President Grover Norquist infamously said that he wants to shrink government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Google’s position on the relative size of government versus bathtubs is not known, but according to a Bloomberg analysis of Google’s US corporate filings, it avoids approximately $2 billion dollars globally in tax payments each year through the use of creative tax shelters.

Bloomberg reported in May 2013 that in France alone Google is in the midst of a dispute over more than $1 billion in unpaid taxes that have been alleged. An August 2013 report by US PIRG – “Offshore Shell Games” — found that Google is now holding more than $33 billion dollars offshore, avoiding taxes on these earnings in the United States.

National Taxpayers Union, headed by former eleven-year American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Executive Director Duane Parde, has a similar anti-tax, anti-government agenda, and it also received funding from Google in 2013.

Google Sponsor Event Honoring Justice Thomas

Google also recently sponsored a gala fundraiser in Washington DC for the Federalist Society, a network of right-wing judges and lawyers that includes Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas was the guest of honor at that event, for which Google was listed as a top-tier “gold” sponsor. Google names the Federalist Society on its list of groups receiving its most substantial grants in 2013.

The company is also funding state special interest group operations. The Center for Media and Democracy, which publishes PRWatch, recently posted a major national report on the State Policy Network (SPN), a network of right-wing think tanks, with at least one organization in every state in the country. SPN groups typically promote a pro-corporate agenda, often at the expense of the interests of ordinary working people.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), which is part of SPN, also received money from Google in 2013. As Progress Now’s state affiliate and CMD have documented, the legislative agenda promoted by TPPF includes opposing renewable energy, blocking access to affordable healthcare and opposing state minimum wage laws.

Google, which did not respond to a request for comment, may argue that it simply funds groups on both sides of the political spectrum, providing other grants to organizations that advocate on behalf of values more closely associated with the corporation’s progressive image. Since Google does not release details of all its grantees and the dollar amounts, it is hard to judge this, although they do disclose providing funding to some progressive groups including the American Constitution Society, People for the American Way and the NAACP.

Although Google has funded both “conservative” and “progressive” groups, it does not disclose the relative proportions given to each, beyond the superficial symmetry, and the degree to which the groups tilt to the right or left in their agendas.

However, as noted by CMD’s Executive Director, Lisa Graves, “there really aren’t two proportionate sides to the facts about the climate changes that are underway, as to whether working people should be paid a living wage and whether corporations should have to pay taxes just like working people do. By funding extreme groups on the right under the guise of a false equivalency, Google is enabling groups that seek to undermine government.”

Google Membership in ALEC, Funding of CEI

Since CMD launched in 2011, revealing the complete agenda of that corporate front group that was secretly voted on by corporate lobbyists and state legislators behind closed doors, corporations have been running to escape association with the group. At least 50 corporations are known to have dropped funding since 2011, including Walmart, Coca Cola and Pepsi. Google – along with Facebook and Yelp – is bucking that trend having quietly joined in 2013. Google does not list ALEC as being a recipient of one of its largest grants, instead it separately names ALEC as an organization to which it has become a member.

There are many good reasons for brand-conscious corporations to stay away from ALEC. For example, its legacy of Stand Your Ground gun laws and bills to make it harder for Americans to vote, its work to repeal renewable energy laws and the ability of the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases and its efforts to privatize almost everything, are just a few of its extreme measures.

ALEC is a corporate-funded lobby group, and the businesses that fund ALEC do so hoping to move a legislative agenda. An ALEC publication sent to corporate members in 1995, celebrated its legislative agenda to members as a “good investment,” stating clearly “nowhere else can you get a return that high.” As CMD’s Lisa Graves has said, “It’s a pay-to-play operation.”

Google joined ALEC just this year, and stepped up funding to groups such as ATR, Federalist Society and Heritage Action in 2013, but under the radar it has been funding a handful of other right-wing groups for several years. In 2013 Google provided a reported $50,000 sponsorship check to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), another group trying to thwart efforts to address climate change, but it has previously funded “Google Policy Fellows” at CEI for several years, and has listed the organization as one that it has supported financially on its “transparency” pages for at least three years.

Google states that its fellows “work closely with CEI scholars to research and promote innovative, pro-consumer solutions to the public policy challenges of the information age.” Whatever projects Google fellows end up working on at CEI, the Google brand is now tied to an organization that has a reputation strongly connected to the denial of climate change.

“Political spending for corporations is purely transactional. It is all about getting policies that maximize profitability,” Bob McChesney told CMD. “So even ostensibly hip companies like Google invariably spend lavishly to support groups and politicians that pursue decidedly anti-democratic policy outcomes. It is why sane democracies strictly regulate or even prohibit such spending, regarding it accurately as a cancer for democratic governance.” Professor McChesney co-founded the media reform group Free Press in 2002, and this year authored Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy.

The policies advocated by some of the Google’s grantees are in stark contrast with the progressive image that Google has worked to promote. It has publicly committed to invest more than $1 billion dollars in renewable energy projects, reduce the use of cars by its employees, power its offices with renewables and otherwise green its buildings. The contrast between these promises, and Google’s funding of groups that deny or challenge the reality of climate change – groups motivated by funding received from fossil fuel companies – has led several organizations to launch campaigns calling for Google to stop funding climate change deniers. Forecast the Facts has a “Hey Google! Don’t Fund ALEC’s Evil!” petition, and Sum of Us has a petition calling on Google to “never fund climate change deniers again.”

ALEC is holding its next conference in Washington, DC, from December 4th through the 6th. A Google lobbyist will likely be there, celebrating ALEC’s 40th anniversary alongside legislators and other lobbyists. CMD will report on the events of the conference through the week at To sign CMD’s petition to Google CEO Larry Page, calling for him to publicly quit ALEC, click here.

Nick Surgey is director of research at the Center for Media and Democracy. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian.
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  • Another Jane

    This makes me sick to my stomach! Horrible! I don’t know where else to go to replace all my Google tools, however, which makes me feel sick and stuck.

  • Anonymous

    What is it that you need? Lots of other options. Open Office is free software and can read/edit MS Office documents/spreadsheets. Many good browsers. And there are other search engines that I like better.

  • Anonymous

    It’s all about money. That’s the bottom line.
    Never trust anybody who earns over 2 million a year. Liberals or Conservatives.

  • Liesbyomission

    It is one thing to want smaller government,but it is another to support anti-woman groups….

  • Another Jane

    I guess part of my problem is that I like the convenience of Google/Chrome/Gmail, etc. What search engines do you like? I guess I could switch to Firefox, but the email issue is a big one, too.

  • Anonymous

    What the hell, Google?

  • J

    Guess I will be changing my favorite search engine and email….Google are you that stupid? Anti woman, anti immigrant?? Wtf

  • WoundedEgo

    Google has enjoyed a pretty good reputation as a hip, liberal company. That just changed for me. I see them now as an organization as sick the Koch brothers. Down with Google! Bring in the guillotine.

  • Mary

    All business owners are free to support whom they chose. Why not Google?

  • fran farrell

    Libertarians an people in favor of the Bill of Rights and the Constitution are not right wing loonies as you imply. Moreover, many of the freedoms we hold dear are under attack by forces that favor government control of freedom of assembly, freedom from warrantless search, free speech and freedom of the press. Google shares many of the core values of these people and has every right to discuss the values they share with these think tanks. Whether you hate some of their agenda or not, civil discourse, not firebrands and pitchforks is the better way to resolve issues.

  • Dave Ryan

    No more Google for me! They don’t share any of my core values if they support right wing groups!!

  • JonThomas

    Hi Fran, it seems you mostly comment in forums concerning Google. Perhaps you work there?

    I don’t really see anyone grabbing pitchforks or firebrands, but I do see people expressing their desire to do exactly what a libertarian would advocate… making decisions which would show displeasure with Google.

    Libertarians are often the first to promote using a different company when you are unhappy with a certain business.

    Discourse means little, corporations are moved toward change by 2 main actions:

    1. Negative publicity


    2. People showing displeasure by using a different service.

    This is exactly what we see happening here. Let us hope Google responds.

  • JonThomas

    Hi Fran, it seems you mostly comment in forums concerning Google. Perhaps you work there?

    I don’t really see anyone grabbing pitchforks or firebrands, but I do see people expressing their desire to do exactly what a libertarian would advocate… making decisions which would show displeasure with Google.

    Libertarians are often the first to promote using a different company when you are unhappy with a certain business.

    Discourse means little, corporations are moved toward change by 2 main actions:

    1. Negative publicity


    2. People showing displeasure by using a different service.

    This is exactly what we see happening here. Let us hope Google responds.

  • chris wing

    Did any of you perhaps notice that Facebook and Yelp are also getting into bed with these creeps?

  • Lorrie Crabtree

    Of course they’re free to support whom they choose… just as we’re free to take our money elsewhere. When the advertisers who are connected to Google start losing pageviews — and thus capitol, they’ll pull out and find another search engine to advertise with, and then Google will change their tune.

    See how that works? They can be evil, and we can boycott them.

  • Anonymous

    So, someone views the world differently than you and they are “evil?” Really? What we really need to work on in this country is thoughtful and civil discourse. As for abandoning Google, I suspect that 90 percent of those here will choose self interest over indignation, after a sufficient cooling off period.

  • sam

    Thanks for the article. I quit Angie’s List for supporting the Conservative Right Wing propaganda so I can start changing all my info from my gmail account and quit GOOGLE! Why don’t they support some of the 99% of Americans who could really use it instead of the greedy cooperation…oh, I forgot, they are one of the greedy cooperations. Wouldn’t it be funny if those 90% you refer to, really do quit GOOGLE. It would send a message. I refuse to shop at Walmart as well. When Americans do get tired of being screwed over by big business & greedy corporation who don’t pay taxes in our country & send jobs to foreign lands i.e. China….Look at what they are doing now with all the help we gave them. TMwNN, if you find the people’s GOOGLE let us know. I’ll be first on the list. Maybe the Green Party will start their GOOGLE. John, Bill Moyers is a fair journalist & unafraid of criticism. He’s from a Right Wing State as am I so having lived amongst them, I feel fair in my review.

  • PStrohm

    No this is a suggested article by a PR firm employed by Google’s competitor.

  • GreySky

    Or….we can all calm down and stop being dismissive and judgmental. See how this works? Everyone else thinks you are stupid, and people stop reading everything you write. When you are evil, no one else has to listen to you.

  • GreySky

    Easy. Unplug all of your internet connected devices. Cradle them gently in your arms. Walk them slowly to your nearest e-waste dump. Deposit smugly.

    Then, stop wasting bandwidth.

    Questions? Stare at a mirror. But, stare with feeling.

  • William

    Good for Google! The groups mentioned are NOT evil. However, if you are so opposed to other groups and organizations with “different views”, then do indeed take your ” enlightened and open minded” self elsewhere. While you do that, incorporate a little integrity into your actions, and boycott all of the other companies that contribute to these “vile” organizations. You know, companies like Disney, Kraft Foods, and many others. If you truly believe in this you will quickly find yourself living in a cabin in the woods, farming for your vegetables and hunting for your own meat. These groups are supported in mass by major corporations, and in reality, are not extremism. Extremism is opposing others views, refusing compromise, and demanding that everyone be like you.

  • William

    I thought I should mention a few other FACTS here. If you wish to boycott Google let that conviction and integrity apply to all donors of these EVIL organizations: 1) If you have a home with natural gas, sell it and move. The American Natural Gas Alliance also donated to Americans For Tax Reform. 2) Be sure to sell your car and walk. The American Petroleum Institute donated also. 3) Take those evil prescription medications and through them away. The Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America donated also. 4) You should also avoid watching any movies as the Motion Picture Assn of America also contributed to Americans for Tax Reform.

    In addition you should also avoid beer, at least those by Anhauser-Busch, don’t drink Coca-Cola products, be sure not to fly on any Boeing planes, and you should certainly avoid having insurance by Blue Cross Blue Shield! These companies all donated to the Texas Public Policy Foundation mentioned in the article.

    This article is not about enlightening you. This article is about attacking Google. Google, like most billion dollar companies, donate to both political parties. However, this article simply wishes to vilify Google. It should make you wonder why the author who works for the Center for Media and Democracy has an agenda against Google? Of course, with a company name like that you would think they were from the The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), or perhaps Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  • Reveal Scott Walker

    How could anyone sponsor an event honoring Clarence Thomas?

  • Serious Starsider

    Extremism is opposing others views? Talk about first world problems.

  • Jason

    So let m get this straight, you support a company for years, then one story comes out that casts them in a negative light and you abandoned them. Your not going to look at other stories? Maybe check up on the facts? Not that you will read it, but here is the other side

  • Jason

    So by your logic and your commenting against google, you work for either MIcrosoft or Apple. I think the person you’re attacking is refering to is yours and other peoples ability to read one article and start a public crusade against someone. How about you do your research, the information is out there.Here is a good start,
    As a people, we love to crucify others, its much harder to withhold judgment until we get all the facts. But its never stopped anyone before, so let the insults fly.

  • WoundedEgo

    That didn’t change my opinion much especially since Google declined to comment on the article and it wasn’t from a source I trust.

  • Anonymous

    You’re obviously just a normal nut. You’re asking for civil discourse? From the likes of Ted Cruz and/or any Tea Party oriented nutball that you choose, asking for and receiving civil discourse is about as likely as you not being one of them. You’re obviously blind to the discourse given at any event the Tea Party hosts and/or Ted Cruz attends as a speaker. I dare you to cite one speech at any Cruz event that meets the standard of civil discourse.

    My standard starts and ends with the truth. If Google chooses to hire a paid gun for the 1%, we the 99% should start looking elsewhere for whatever it is we use Google for. I had heard many times that Brin was libertarian, now I think he’s probably just another dirtbag from the far right.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t get your message. I expected to see a list of radical left wing groups that Google suppports as a balance to the number of RADICAL RIGHT WING GROUPS! Instead you post some crap supposedly to support the view that Google is really neutral. Well you failed Jason. Show me where Google has supported the extreme left?? Nothing? Really? I’m not surprised.

    As for abandoning Google, I’ll try. I’m quitting Google Play music which is the only money I give to them. $7.99 a month. Go ahead and laugh, I don’t really care.

    I’m 62 and have seen more hate spread by the right wing in the past decade than in all the prior years of my life. You need to go back to news archives. The birthers, the Tea party, the Koch brothers, etc, etc. Nothing but hate filled greedy old white men and their jack booted thugs. I say not here, not now, not forever.

    I am personally convinced that the economic war waged on the middle and lower class of this country needs to be met head on by whatever means necessary, including but not limited to, civil disobedience. We don’t need to shut down the government, we need to shut down the rich right wing . We need to shut down the corporations who consistently support fattening up their porky stockholders at the expense of the rest of us. Corporate america has become the NO RISK playground of the rich. Every mistake they make isn’t felt by the stockholders, it’s felt by us. F**k them all. Free the 99%.

  • Theodore Ts’o

    The problem is that influencing public policy means that you sometimes have to work with some very odd bedfellows. The fact that Tea Partiers strive for ideological purity is a very good thing, since it keeps them from achieving many of their goals. I don’t know why Google made these decisions, but I’ll note that some far-right Tea Partiers such as Amash have shown great leadership towards NSA’s dragnet surveillance tacticals, where as Democracts such as Pelosi and Feinstein have been some of NSA’s more vocal cheerleaders.

    As an aside, a free hint to the Democratic party: I may normally be a supporter of the Democratic party, but I am NOT going to respond positively to a fund raising campaign letter which features Pelosi front and center…. I haven’t donated to support Amash, because of his stance on other issues that I find especially distasteful, but if Feinstein and Pelosi continue their NSA cheerleading, I may very well decide to support certain Tea Party congresscritters.

  • Frank Gainaford

    Reading the comments here I just have to laugh…

    really folks… what happened to your ability to think?

    Are all Americans this foolish? well judging by the small number of comments I believe not, but there are some who would cut off their nose to spite their faces…. like those who advocate boycotting Google or taking their business else where…

    really folks… get real and get a life….

  • Jason

    Okay, take care.

  • Anonymous

    Google would have a hard time supporting “the extreme left” since it is practically non-existent. Reagan looks like a liberal in today’s climate.

  • Anonymous

    OP’s rampant dualism leads to narrow-minded article. His inability to appreciate diverse points of view causes him to demonize all dissenting opinions and conflate political realities with religious ideologies.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is that they are misrepresenting themselves.

  • JonThomas

    Logic? If you search Fran’s comment history, you will find that 99% of her comments have been made in articles directly about Google. On the other hand, I have never once, as far as I can recall, ever commented on articles referring to Google. Perhaps you might concentrate on improving your logical thinking.

    As far as public crusades, if Google wants to support groups that would advocate change in a certain direction, so too can I, or anyone else, use our power of choice to deny support to anyone advocating such undesired change.

    I have offered my motivations for avoiding supporting Google (such support feeds capital to Google. If they use that capital to support Right wing groups, then I am then indirectly supporting those right wing groups.) I choose to be as aware and active/reactive as possible concerning whom I support. I am thankful for articles such as this one.

    A Libertarian especially should be thankful for such articles, it helps people make informed decisions.

    Again, I have offered my motivations for avoiding Google, along with Google related products and services. What are your motivations for trying to get myself and others to stop our “crusade” against Google?

  • Amy Kendall

    I’m curious – is this Google giving money as a company, or is this Google employees giving money with matching from their employer? Similar companies offer matching for employee donations, so long as the recipient isn’t a hate group.

  • Jason

    Take care.

  • Stuart M.

    I have always had a positive view of Google. They have often come under attack for amassing a data-mining advertising empire, but I thought that was just envy. I have always felt GREAT! They identified a need and a very effective way to satisfy it, while building a creative company famous for thinking “outside the box,” more power to them. This news that they are funding some of the worst America-hating, climate-denying, anti-poor political groups just comes as a complete shock. It goes so against their image in every way. Part of me wants to buy the “hedging their bets” argument, but I worry Google is just becoming another greedy corporation that cares more about itself than society. I don’t see how any corporation could support groups that came within two hours of forcing an American default on its debt. The German industrialists also thought they could “control” Hitler when he was appointed Chancellor in 1932. How did that work out, Google? As an avid user of many Google features from Gmail to Documents, Maps, Books, and Youtube, I really am upset about this news. I tried to find a place anywhere in Google where I could complain, but couldn’t find a single email address, only the 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043 address. I guess I’ll have to clean the old fountain pen and raid the printer tray for some writing paper. And to think I was considering buying a Chromebook!

  • Ardi Hominid

    The rich and powerful do not want government/middle class telling them what to do. They are too rich for such nonsense. What a terrible inconvenience may dear chap.

  • Robert Lee

    Right -wing…left-wing…no difference.

  • Robert Lee

    Please…DemocRATS are the same as the RebublICANS. 2 heads of 1 snake.

  • Anonymous

    It,s all about the MONEY!!!

  • Anonymous

    I have tried more than once. Not really. Not until someone else comes up with a halfway-decent search engine.

  • Anonymous

    I am not confident this will be a productive discussion but no, I do not think those groups are evil, or perfect. While it is a good idea to occasionally check the bearings on one’s moral compass, I do not believe my moral compass needs resetting. You have made a judgment that these groups are evil because they are characterized by greed, selfishness, and dishonesty. Aside from my personal observation that these 3 characteristics are found along the full political spectrum, from left to right, I cannot think of any reason to believe that the sins of these groups are especially egregious. I respect that you may view this differently.

  • Anonymous

    I hope I’m better than a normal nut. I aspire to something above average. Yes, I perpetually hope for thoughtful and civil discourse. I hope for the same standards of civility along the full range of the political spectrum, as far into the extremes as possible. I have heard the mean spirited attacks at both ends and am unimpressed.

    Truth is a good standard. I hope that is what we all seek.

  • Dylan Cuffy

    There’s always another way out: Vimeo.

  • gil eisner

    This is a somewhat disturbing article because it reflects a change in management philosophy and the turn over of government relations to Susan Molinari, a dedicated representative of the extreme right. Suggesting to cut Google out of our lives is like saying pi (3.14+) doesn’t exist. It does and no matter what you say or do changes the fact it’s there!

    Several observations-Eventually Molinari will move on just like her predecessors. This is just a step in her career path. The monies Google have contributed is chump change to them. After you take out the recipient organization’s overhead and G&A from the contribution, only 25 to 35 % is useful funding for candidates/lobbying. The 2014 election is an opportunity not to be missed. It provides the ultimate strategy to trivialize the effect of ALEC, Citizens’ United, etc by changing the balance of power in Congress. Especially the House and keeping the existing control of the Senate. If all the money thrown at an election gives no or little results and 2014 sets the stage for a functioning democracy in 2016 and beyond. These right wing funding sources will either dry up or buy their way into the party in power well beyond the 20’s. I know of one contributor who contributed over 100 million dollars in 2012 to the Republican party and only b(r)ought one Senator for his massive contribution! I’m told that a sign of insanity is continuing to do the same thing time and time again, only to achieve the same results. If you continue to pour money down a black hole and get nothing in return, how long will one continue to do so?

    If you want a methodology to achieve this kind of dynamic results, check out the DOLLAR BILL…..

  • fmendoza


  • Jimbo

    Zoho is owned by google

  • mateo dega

    this certainly alters how i percieve the google brand . . . i will be looking out for any boycotts that come along . . . more corporate abuse . . . the menace of our age . . .

  • Anonymous

    As a Libertarian, I consider being anti-government as being pro-people. Silly me.

    As a Climate change skeptic (skeptic, as in, I’m not persuaded that humanity is having any real significant impact on global weather at all.), I would suggest you might want to check out, at least once, and see there are many climatologists who are also skeptics. And yes,… even some actual ‘Deniers’ too.

  • TJ Sears

    Goodbye google

  • wolfpaw

    I just love it! If you don’t like Chik Fil A, don’t eat there! Same with Google. Oh, you mean you can’t part with Google because it offers so much and you rely on it? Oh well. The founders put their money and timeless hours into growing this business. It has become superbly successful. They’ve earned their money….hard work and dedication. They can give to whomever they please, and my guess is, they probably give to the left as well as the right. Just a hunch.

  • dorothee

    Mondy hangs with money – no surprise here

  • Matt Kovach

    bu bye google

  • Tuxavant

    Avoiding the NSA? Sounds anti-american. You must be a terrorist.

  • Todd Crawford

    Libertarianism has been co-opted by the anti-government Right and it’s not really just “Libertarian” at this point. As someone who has stated, “I am anti-government,” you should be prepared to answer questions like: “What constitutes a healthy, highly competitive marketplace?” “How is a healthy marketplace achieved if the status quo is composed largely of oligopolies or an ever-rising oligarchical class? If your answer is the “free market,” then you are don’t really know what is going on right now. If you want to see where “Libertarian” Right Wing ideas will be taking us, please visit various countries in Asia and have a look at the severe lack of a middle class with any substantial disposable income, a lack of democracy, lack of government benefit for a society that is utterly run by a handful of families. Starting today, with what we currently have and simply abandoning all hope of regulation and oversight by a democratic government is called ‘giving up on government, democracy, and ideals of a healthy, competitive marketplace.’ The recent rise of “Libertarianism” is just a tool for one hand of an investor class that will happily shred our democracy, our middle class, our “free market,” our education system, etc. even though the investors themselves don’t really know what the outcome will be once government is gutted and they are free to poison all of our water and leave us with nothing. Guess we’re heading back to monarchy and new corporate dictatorship, or toward total disintegration of all nations along with markets. Nothing we can do… just strive for “Libertarianism.” The real answer to your own personal riddle probably lies in your surname, its origin, and why some individualistic people who would rather shoot everyone than form any sort of social cohesion or community ended up in “America” and vote Red, Corporate, Guns, Christ, Anti-government, Anti-human, anti-social or asocial, hyper-individualism, and for cynicism over and over again. You can say, “Jesus” as many times as you want but you don’t sound like the “pro-human here.” Silly you.

  • Anonymous

    I must say this is very disappointing.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for explaining my world view. Funny, it doesn’t quite line up the way I thought it is/should be. I thought I had more science, engineering, problem solving, and critical thinking going on… But that’s why we need people like you to lead us around by the hand and tell us what and how to think.

    Something in the back of my mind seems to suggest “anti-government” is more in line with anarchist than libertarian. There are many schools of libertarian. But most (I believe) tend to think less government (and management) and more personal discipline and responsibility is preferable.

    Well, I’m going to leave this little conversation so I can go back to my Google account and send for a Googlegun & GoogleBible. Did I miss anything? Oh, maybe a stained-glass window of blue, red, yellow, blue, green, and red.

  • Ruth Kevghas

    Okay- I am now going to have to replace my browser and switch to BING! I do not want to support that ultra right wing nut group!

  • Anonymous

    To use a Silicon Valley phrase, Google “eats their own dog food”. That is, they practice what they believe. The innovative products they bring to market, relaxed work environment, lack of management is their formula. They don’t have a “strong government”, they do have a strong culture.

    I personally believe there is much more to the US that defines us than Washington DC. It’s been our independence, self reliance, and our ability to come together to reach corporate/common goals.

    BTW – “corporate” shouldn’t be a dirty word.

    We’re a resourceful and innovative people, America. Google knows how to set up an environment to allow that to flourish, and reward its stakeholders (employees, shareholders, business partners, customers, even competitors (by creating new markets)).

    I think Google equates “management” with “government” (my own suspicion). In that vein, rather than having the traditional number of managers, they’ve opted to have most engineers “manage” themselves. Likewise they may believe (again, my speculation) that individuals can “govern” themselves. Imagine that, a “government of the people”.

    Also, Google is made up of people from all over the world, from different cultures. But yet, they’re able to work very successfully. Their culture could be something like a “melting pot”.

    Here’s an article from Harvard Business Review (replace “-dot” with “.”):

  • Anonymous

    Well thought out.
    Thank you

  • Jurisrachel

    They certainly _can_ give to whomever they please – just as I can choose to extricate myself from them if they choose to support groups that are repugnant. And the issue is getting extra attention because Google did profess to be different … so the standard is a little different, and the bar a little higher.

  • Jurisrachel

    Thank you for posting this. It includes several peeks below the surface that are often lacking when folks profess anti-government views.

  • Jurisrachel

    Thank you for that – one of the best things I’ve read tonight. I love your fervor.

  • Amala Lane

    What do you really know about Google’s corporate structure and process? What is it really like to work there? I have a friend who is a leading programmer and human uses consultant. She said when she interviewed for a job (that she was offered and refused) at Google, she found the place entirely creepy with a cult like atmosphere. There doesn’t have to be a guru for there to be a cult. Finally, ever since Citizen’s United, corporations are free to buy elections openly. Basically, there is no difference between the government and major corporations. They have lobbying power thousands of times over most of us and thus, their influence on the government and our daily lives is vast. But, as you say, we do have individual responsibility, will and determination. So there are equally thousands of us who are taking up our responsibility to oppose oligarchs like Google. The people united will never be divided.

  • That Guy

    Gosh, and here the children thought Google was Barney the Dinosaur. How unbelievably naïve could you people be, anyway?

  • That Guy

    I’m sure you will be sorely missed!

  • That Guy

    How did they “profess to be different?”

  • That Guy

    Why did you fools ever believe anything they said in the first place? How stupid could you people be?

  • That Guy

    For the same reason they’ll honor Nelson Mandela: because they want to make money from their supporters.

  • That Guy

    So you’d rather have third world problems, like cannibalism and cholera?

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    Sure. Google has fallen into the tired old cliche – of the progressive selling their soul for the 30 silver pennies. Happened to Apple on Jobs’ deathbed. The companies have been taken over by accountants. Brin/Page disgust me- they’ve got their billions but instead of trying to try help their fellow citizen have a better life in a cleaner environment, they fund these neanderthal morons who are actively working to turn this country into a corpocratic Hell. Awful!

  • Anonymous

    If they are so innocuous, why they do companies fight to keep their donations to ALEC et al. anonymous?

  • Anonymous

    And i stopped shopping at Whole Foods for the same reason.

  • Anonymous

    From Wikipedia in 2095…. ” The early name for Skynet was Google..”

  • Anonymous

    Well, I’ve been in the industry for 30 years, started out in electrical engineering and moved into software engineering. Worked for two start-ups, one being in silicon valley. Have several friends and former coworkers with similar backgrounds whom I still keep in touch with, some work at Google. So I do have a perspective of the industry and some into Google as well (and Microsoft, and Oracle/Sun).

    Regarding a “cult like atmosphere”. Virtually all movements and organizations (corporate) have a “cult”. It’s a common belief system and common goal. I would charge that you, Amala, are part of a “cult”, like I am. It’s what we choose to believe, what we think is right and choose to invest in.

    To perhaps gain another perspective on “cult like atmospheres” and how they are useful, you may want to read “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by Jim Collins. It examines and contrasts companies who are leaders in their fields with those who are the biggest. “Good” companies like Merck, who’s cult-like workforce mounted “missionary-like” campaigns to eradicate river blindness in remote villages, and how this zeal affected their competition, customers, employees, prospective employees and ultimately, the world.

  • Tony

    Welcome to the beginning of the replacement of the national state with the corporate entity. “Office of Information ?” Democracy – already tenuous – will no doubt cease to exist during the 21st century.

  • Paxmelanoleuca

    LOL. You guys are ridiculous… Google isn’t a partisan front; it’s a company. It’s business is to make money, and one way to do this is by keeping partisans on both sides of the aisle happy. Sure Google sponsors some groups you don’t like, but then again they also sponsor the Center for American Progress Action Fund, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, The Leadership Conference, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, and the National Urban League.

    If you can’t tolerate individuals (or companies) that agree with you on many many issues, and instead only reject them for the handful of issues in which you find discord, you’re a bit of a bigot.

  • Todd Crawford

    Keep thinking. Do you have trouble meeting new people or traveling? good luck.

  • Todd Crawford

    not ridiculous. desperate for some leverage, yes.

  • JLM

    Your characterization of many of these groups as “right wing” is silly and naive.


  • Paxmelanoleuca

    I think I’d be more sympathetic if the article was trying to put pressure on Google to sponsor progressive NPOs and initiatives, rather than trying to pressure Google to pull sponsorship from conservative ones. That’s not leverage, that’s suppression of dissent.

  • Richard Brucker

    What the hell? Google you are going to lose my business if you keep this up!

  • Cynthia Davis

    If anyone has checked lately – I know that my anti spyware programs came up with thousands of such things from google chrome if I even try to use it. Along with the recent reports of data sales and sharing that Google has been caught doing seems they have gone to the dark side – probably baking the “cookies” that the dark side keeps offering – now we know what kind of cookies they are LOL

  • Anonymous

    Why, Google? Why . . . Say it ain’t so!

  • Anonymous

    I am going to dumb Google. Suggestions for an email provider with some ethics?

  • Sulla Felix

    So, let’s see, because you disagree with them, they are evil? Interesting. And quite tolerant. And civil. You believe YOU aren’t being manipulated by Obama and the left? Wow. That level of ignorance is why we’re in the position we are in now.

  • Sulla Felix

    Right. You want an email provider that is ethical? Build your own if you are smart enough. Please, this level of ignorance is just sad. You really think ANY email provider isn’t using their revenue to further their own agenda? Would you be applauding is Google was backing, say, George Soros?

    If so, you are just another pathetic hypocrite.

  • Sulla Felix

    I see, going from Google to Microsoft, yep, that’s safe. Are you serious? Or just ignorant?

  • Sulla Felix

    Yeah, change that search engine. Where do you think DDG gets its results? From Google. They just filter the ads. Google still make money on the search.

    People like you are what keep people like me in business. Please continue to be blissfully ignorant of the world and remember, I like my subs with extra pickles.

  • Keith Hines


    **Thanks !!**
    …………..***2013 TREATY Of DETROIT CHAPTER #9***
    …………..******(Not “Black” Either!!)********,
    ***”FORCE”, “HARM”, & COERCE”***;
    ***”PEOPLE”***, ***”BUSINESSES”***, and ***”GOVERNMENTS”*** TO ***”DO AS THEY WERE TOLD”*** !! Note: Key Word Is “COERCE”?
    ***”The KENNEDYS”***(Who Served As “Their Attorneys”) ***”Etc………” ????

    ***Love Peace*Out***
    P.S. ***The Treaty Of 1836″*** & ***”Treaty Of Detroit 1855″***

  • Anonymous

    Yeah, maybe.

    So what kind of oligopoly would Google be, or become? Sorry, I’ve been in tech for 30 years (electrical and software engineering) and it seems there’s always a new disruption brought about by the market sooner than some government agency can barely perceive how formidable the a player is.

    Are you going to bring up the “Browser Wars”? By the time the cases were closed the industry moved on. Sure Netscape died (they would have anyway even if they’d won). What about IE? Whatever, you know they’re not relevant today. Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, the list goes on but it’s not even relevant. We have HTML5 and web-os’ now.

    How about the office “monopoly”. Star Office, Open Office and Libra Office to name just three branches of the same code base…

    What about mighty RCA, Sperry, DEC, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, and now Google. Who’s next?

    Well, it may just be Google. They have the only culture that scales. They’re diverse with many nationalities/backgrounds composing their employee base, self directed with minimal “central governance” (i.e. “management”), and encourage calculated risk taking. Also, by the way, it appears (to me) to be libertarian.

    So the last time Sherman’s hammer fell and busted apart a company,it landed on AT&T, a government-supported monopoly. Not because AT&T was fixing prices. Rather, it was because they had the potential to fix prices. It wasn’t a Liberal or Democrat who broke it up either.

    Microsoft lost their “monopoly” case, but was never broken up. BSD Unix, then Linux causes led by (what I would describe as “libertarian”) programmers and generous “entities” (read “corporations” like Sun/Oracle, IBM, and evil ones like Google and many others) have done more to shift the market (through open source software) than the courts did or could do (short of harming the market).

    I think a monopoly or oligopoly can exist if there is a finite resource to be metered-out and controlled. But not when it comes to creativity. Anyone can have an idea and that’s all [most] software is.

  • fmendoza

    I like to remind tuxavant. that George Washington was a terrorist. I don’t have to support Germany. like I said. I have a free will. as well as mind. because a mind is a terrible thing to waste. have a nice day.

  • BeholdersEye

    Google should not fund ANY political group, this is disturbing….

  • txmag

    Really? So where would we go? I’ve been naively thinking that all was well., Someone tell me where I can find a good browser and email service and doc and storage service rather than all my goggle products? Is there any corp out that that doe snot seek to fund the bad guys since it is the bad guys that help them hide their taxes and manipulate their customers eventually into bizarre relationships where we have no options? Really? Anyone?

  • txmag

    No, not ridiculous. Disappointed. We all naively thought that google would be different somehow. New technology; new ways; new hope. The point is: I don’t think it is okay for corporations to pay off lobbyist groups on either side of the aisle. Yeah, google and Goldman Sachs and all must fund both sides so that they can get their way. That is not what we want in our democracy. I want us, the citizens that care about the long term health of our country, to have more power and effect than the lobbyists & corporations that are writing the laws. I want congressmen to care about the country and citizens, not the corporate donations.

  • txmag

    Pretty sad that this is how it works in USA.

  • txmag

    I love you, Todd. There are so many that just swallow what they are fed. Co-opting all around. Make us all THINK dammit! Thank you. My fear is that we will not swing to correct in time or that when when we all finally wake up to tame the swing of the pendulum the correction will be a very messy one because so many groups have been co-opted. Poor and lower middle class think that the free market is working great for them and that it is those damn liberals that want to destroy their way of life. Holy toledo – the brainwashed I’ve seen!

  • Greg S

    how disturbing… another money grubbing company stabbing us in the back…i am very disappointed.

  • Anonymous

    Switched to Bing!

  • pwlsax

    And yet big money is never an issue? Only the citizenry and government? What color is your sun? (I’m gonna guess green.)

  • The Open Door

    You’re right. It’s all by design. That’s why when the restrictions against conglomeration in the media industry began, I wondered why millions weren’t in the street protesting. WE ARE SCREWED.

  • The Open Door

    I’m all for suppression of dissent it seems. I learn a new thing everyday.

  • The Open Door

    We’re already there. The beginning was in about 1980.

  • The Open Door

    Totally par for the course.

  • The Open Door

    Money corrupts.

  • txmag

    We can’t think that it is too late. We have to keep discourse open and open minds and hope that people wake up to the manipulation of our media and ads and minds. OMG I sound paranoid but really, there is so much misinformation and “news” that is of the moment and not factual, where misinformation and lies are not challenged, and there are so many blogs and planted “fact” that it takes a person much time to sniff out the truth. We must be dogged in our sniffing and maintain hope. And we must teach our children what real debate looks like; teach them critical thinking.

  • txmag

    Yep. We def need those tax dollars in education. Corporations and right wing groups, espec Right wing fundamentalists, are hoping that our public ed system starves. Examine what happened in PA and LA when for profit ed stepped in to save the failing children. There will be even greater class disparity when they take away the ed and make it for profit. The whole tax system needs to be revamped but the only ones with power and money to lobby for how it is revamped are the ones that benefit from corporate loopholes, etc.

  • txmag

    Every business funds political groups and politicians’ not for profits for re-election, etc. The politicians sure can’t make enough money for elections and have a styish enough lifestyle without corporate money and lobbyists in their corner, and vice versa for them in the corporate corner. Where on earth have you been?

  • Evan Rogers

    I guess the moderators didn’t like my previous response.

    Your argument completely agrees with what I’m saying. Democracy fails because a bunch of people sell out the country to big money.

    Why is this possible? Because they control the guns – they point the guns at the people who try to say “no thanks’ to the system.

    Thus, every few years, the tax-slaves gather together to decide who will lash them for the next few years.

    Democracy has failed. The sun is every color at once (aka, white). And problems like this won’t cease until citizens can actually say “no thanks” to their government without fear of being abused.

  • BeholdersEye

    …the founders were not lobbyist, they were everyday citizens of thirteen states of the time…

  • Anonymous

    Screwoogled by google

  • FDRliberal

    Too bad. Overall I liked Google’s products and currently use them for a wide ranges of purposes. I won’t continue to support a company which funds some of these detestable groups however.

  • ranchero42

    It’s not good — I know of at least -two- chat sites that like to swap *Friday Nite Videos* — where should we seek new material if not -there-?

    I don’t know about -you-, but I’m getting mighty weary of being asked to add *chrome* to my browser list as well.

  • AskandTell

    I’ve always thought that. NSA is like the CIA; they cannot reveal their true identity.

  • AskandTell

    Excellent post txmag.

  • AskandTell

    Funding an organization that was a driver in shutting down our government and costing tax payers billions is here I draw the line. I disagree with your analogy that the Human Rights Campaign organization is equal to Heritage Action. This organization rated groups of citizens value to society based on ethnicity as part of their opposition research against Affordable Health Care.

  • FDRliberal

    Well, I recently switched from Firefox to Chrome after FF made some changes I didn’t like. And Google has always been the best search engine from my own experience.

    But I can always use another search engine and I can easily go back to FF as a browser. My issue is replacing something like Google Docs which I rely on for work purposes. I know there are other options out there but am not too familiar. Maybe later I’ll jump over to one of the boards where a lot of the HP refugees are and ask around.

    I also saw there are a lot of petitions from angry Google users. I wonder what the official response if any was.

    I guess you are “private” on Disqus because I didn’t see your reply until I came back to the actual site.

    I found this site after looking for info on Google and ALEC. Looks like a great site and I’ve always enjoyed Moyers.

  • ranchero42

    Lance Wagstaff (Counterglow) recommended three -other- search engines: I’ve already bookmarked and used the second two; I’ve saved the link to gmbmg and moved Gurgle, Ha-hoo, and Bling to the bottom of the queue.

  • txmag

    You missed the point. This is about reality, not idealism in 1776. And the founding fathers thought that competing factions. i.e., factions that lobbied their governments, would be in the interest of all since the special interests, who they imagined would be groups of citizens come together, not corporations, would compete and put forth their ideas and have to “sell” for their interests. Sell as in present info and debate the benefits of their position. Unfortunately it all got turned around so that by mid 19th century things were very screwed up, and the common man was screwed. Now we have Citizen’s United. Our elected officials and our govt bureaucrats have always been up for hire for the better civilian job after they put in their govt dept time.

  • reasoning with facts

    Back to your commune …It`s “STEAL” not “STEEL” , and it`s “WONDER” , not “WOUNDER”

  • Vagabond1066

    We sepnd more money per student that every other country, yet our results are far from top notch. Money isn’t the issue. A popular culture that promotes stupidity over being a “nerd” is the real problem.

  • Vagabond1066

    We spend more money per student than any other country. Money isn’t the problem, children not wanting to be geeks, nerds, dorks, or eggheads is. It’s popular culture, not lack of funding.

  • buck cameron

    Bing!!! Good idea. I’ll use Microsoft products.

  • Vache Espagnole

    No, we just want to ‘crucify’ those who have been crucifying the earth and its denizens for profit, i.e. the sociopathic crapitalist corporatists with armies and stolen resources like J.R. Hearst, DuPont, JP Morgan, Koch bros et al. Villains all that deserve(d) to be crucified for a change.

  • William L. Weaver

    @FDRliberal your tolerance for opposing points of view is refreshing. You definitely put the “Liberty” in “Liberal”. We certainly would not want to boycott and burn the books containing diversity of thought…

  • FDRliberal

    Yes, because a citizen choosing to not use a product created by a corporation which supports laws harmful to the same citizen, is the same thing as being against “Liberty”.

    Your lack of support for the free market is noted.

  • Atticus Finch

    Beautiful response.

  • Nathan J. Brauer

    The link he provided includes a link to the list directly from Google! Look for yourself:

  • Anonymous

    Pretty nasty. Google is great for finding a site, but gets all of us to help it give money ONLY to the rich/greedy/hopeless (cruz) and ALEC (ugh!)

  • Jono

    You have that right – only because those “detestable groups” defend it against the depredations of your left-wing friends.

  • Jono

    Arguing for a national socialist government, I see. Sig heil.