Google takes heat for Inhofe fundraiser

Mountain View-based Google is taking some heat for hosting a fundraiser for a U.S. Senator who is an outspoken disbeliever in man-made climate change, despite the company’s green rhetoric.

Google’s Washington, D.C., office will host a lunch Thursday, at $250 to $2,500 per plate, to benefit U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., just a month after Google chairman Eric Schmidt said those who deny climate change and global warming are liars.

Climate-change activists plan to picket outside in order to “remind people of Google’s professed culture of ethics, environmental stewardship, and respect for scientific truth which help make Google products so popular,” according to a news release. “They’ll also remind people of Sen. Jim Inhofe’s long record of unethical environmental destruction and promotion of anti-scientific conspiracy theories on behalf of the likes of Koch Industries, his biggest corporate funder.”

The protestors say they’ll deliver 10,000 signatures of people from across the nation calling on Google CEO Larry Page to end his company’s support for politicians like Inhofe.

“We regularly host fundraisers for candidates, on both sides of the aisle, but that doesn’t mean we endorse all of their positions,” a Google spokesperson replied to my email Wednesday. “And while we disagree on climate change policy, we share an interest with Senator Inhofe in the employees and data center we have in Oklahoma.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR Senile Columnist

    Who are these losers ready to picket somebody at a moment’s notice? If they so strongly believe their position is correct, why waste time on picketing fundraisers? If their position is so damn obviously true, why don’t they work to inform the millions of ordinary citizens who haven’t got the message? Of course it’s easier to blame the Koch Bros. and Big Business for all the ills of the world. Next time I have a lousy date, some Big Capitalist is gonna hear about it!

  • JohnW

    Considering Google’s advocacy of green energy, holding a fund raiser for Inhofe seems mind-bogglingly stupid from a PR standpoint. It’s a bit like the NRA having a fund raiser for Diane Feinstein.

  • Alcoahead

    They (Google) has a data center in…Oklahoma?

    Another reason to use http://www.duckduckgo.com and http://www.silentcircle.com — just sayin’.

  • ReilleyFam

    “We regularly host fundraisers for candidates, on both sides of the aisle, but that doesn’t mean we endorse all of their positions,” a Google spokesperson replied to my email Wednesday.”

    So, basically you’re a whore with no values & will sleep with anyone as long as the cash cow keeps milking.

    Did you know you can have a data center in Ok without fundraising for every politician in the State?

  • Elwood

    Tempest, teapot, etc.

  • JohnW


    Good comments.

    The company I worked for had operations in nearly all states. We were equal opportunity whores and used PAC money to donate to candidates of all stripes. Generally to members of congressional committees that affected our industry.

    Lots of companies do that. What’s different about Google is the stark contrast between what they supposedly stand for and what Inhofe stands for.