Google Funded Far-Right Groups That Pushed For Government Shutdown

Larry PageBusiness Insider/Julie BortGoogle CEO Larry Page

Google has funded a bunch of conservative political groups, some of which pushed for a government shutdown over Obamacare, according to PRWatch.

PRWatch’s report on Google’s political funding is long and detailed, but it should be taken with a pinch of salt: It doesn’t say how much money Google gives to these groups, and it doesn’t pull out Google’s funding of liberal political organisations.

Google, in fact, has close ties to the Obama administration.

Nonetheless, Google has funded some groups that have taken positions on the far-right of the conservative political spectrum, PRWatch says, including Heritage Action:

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.

Heritage Action is funded by the Koch Brothers. The Koch family foundations have for years funded climate-change denialist groups, and Heritage Action takes that line, too.

Google also funded Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who led the government shutdown, PRWatch says:

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 $US10,000 contribution in 2012. Additionally, despite being five years out from the freshman Senator’s next election, Google’s PAC has already made a $US2,500 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.

Google has also funded liberal groups like the Progressive Policy Institute, American Constitution Society, People for the American Way, Congressional Black Caucus Institute, and the NAACP. You can see a full list of Google-funded political groups here. A record of its election campaign funding is here.

And Google has funded moderate conservative groups like the Ripon Society, which pushes to end extremism inside the Republican Party.

Broadly, it looks as if Google is trying to keep its thumbs inside as many different political pies as possible. But in doing so, it seems as if it has supported groups with wildly contradictory positions, some of which are on the fringe.

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