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Over 10,000 Google Users Protest Company’s Inhofe Fundraiser

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"Over 10,000 Google Users Protest Company’s Inhofe Fundraiser"

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by Brad Johnson, campaign manager for Forecast the Facts

Since I first reported on Climate Progress the news of Google’s planned fundraiser today for Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), over 10,000 individuals have signed a petition calling for its cancellation. After the selection of former Republican representative Susan Molinari to head its lobbying operations last year, Google has dramatically increased its support for anti-science politicians and front groups, from Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) to the Koch-founded Mercatus Center.

Forecast the Facts and Greenpeace activists will be delivering the petition signatures to Google Washington headquarters during the lunchtime fundraiser, and holding a protest to be livestreamed at 12:45 PM by We Act Radio:

The Forecast the Facts petition, addressed to Google CEO Larry Page, makes a straightforward request:

Cancel your July 11 fundraiser for Sen. Jim Inhofe and pledge to never fund climate deniers again.

An anonymous Google spokesperson responded to media inquiries saying the fundraiser would go forward, because although Google and Inhofe “disagree on climate change policy,” they “share an interest” in Google’s 100-employee, $700 million data center in Pryor, Oklahoma. Last year, Google earned the top spot on Greenpeace’s Cool IT board for its commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency to power its massive computer farms.

With the admirable goal of creating a “better web that is better for the environment,” Google has cultivated a reputation for working to support scientific inquiry and pursuing environmental sustainability. Google’s co-founders, Page and Sergey Brin, continue to profess that Google operates by the corporate motto, “Don’t be evil.”

This reputation will be rendered meaningless if the fundraiser goes forward and large contributions continue to be made to anti-science defenders of unregulated carbon pollution such as Sen. Inhofe and the Competitive Enterprise Institute.


Google’s Oklahoma employees are not well served by the company’s support for Inhofe. Climate change is one of the most significant threats facing our country’s economy, environment, and long-term well being. It is already impacting people across the United States — especially in Oklahoma. In fact, Oklahoma is known as “Disaster Central” — the state has more climate-related disasters than any other state in the nation, and conditions will worsen as carbon pollution builds.

The following comments from Google users, shareholders, and concerned Oklahomans who have signed the Forecast the Facts petition were included in the cover letter addressed to Larry Page:

“I am a shareholder and raising campaign money for climate deniers is not in anyone’s interest. Please cancel any such events planned or in the future.” — Suzanne S, Salt Lake City, UT

“I am a heavy Google user and I live in Oklahoma. Inhofe does as much damage to this country (and the world) as anyone alive today. I am appalled that you are raising money for him and will start finding alternatives if you don’t cancel. And as a web professional, I will widely share my opinion.” — Rena G, Oklahoma City, OK

“I am a shareholder, specifically because of your ‘don’t be evil’ slogan. Please don’t make me want to sell my stock!” — Lynn L, Minneapolis, MN

“I am from Oklahoma and know the results of this man’s political life on the rest of us. He is unworthy in every way of your support. What can you be thinking to fund a man of this stamp? I would hate to do without Google, but I will force myself. You serve a wide constituency and should be above this partisanship. Please, please cancel this disaster.” —Jo T, Perkins, OK

Not only is Inhofe explicitly opposed to Google’s professed concern for global warming, his stances on other core issues contradict those of Google’s employees, shareholders, and customers:

Open Internet: Google executives say an open internet is its top corporate concern. Inhofe opposes net neutrality.

LGBT Rights: Google HR personnel claim to support LGBT rights and promote its “Gayglers.” Inhofe argues gay marriage is immoral and supports homophobic regimes abroad.

Religious Tolerance: Google marketers reach out to the Muslim world and celebrate Ramadan. Inhofe argues that all terrorists are Muslims and Middle Easterners.

Women’s Rights: Google acts to empower women in technology. Inhofe wonders about Hillary Clinton’s unfeminine “forceful attitude” and opposes birth control.

Ethnic Diversity And Civil Rights: Google’s HR team celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and funds a Hispanic College Fund. Inhofe pushes English-only legislation.

And the list goes on. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s James Temple writes, Google’s support for Inhofe is “unconscionable,” “galling,” and a “shameful act of corporate hypocrisy.”

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25 Responses to Over 10,000 Google Users Protest Company’s Inhofe Fundraiser

  1. catman306 says:

    Google is not your friend.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Never was. Deeply sinister, and right in bed with the surveillance state, and have been since the beginning. Like the rest of them.

  2. Signed!

    Kudos for staying on top of this issue. Great, morality-driven reporting.

  3. mp79 says:

    you want clean energy? shut your damn power off and stop funding coal energy.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Inhofe + Google = ?

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Google are also implicated in the PRISM mega-scandal, you remember it, the story dropped like hot coals by the ‘Free Press’. Mega-corporation = Mega-bastards.

  6. Mimikatz says:

    There is a quick private alternative to Google: http://www.duckduckgo.com that anyone can use. This is for the search engine. Many alternatives to gmail exist that do not read your mail.

    • Martin Vermeer says:

      Easiest is to just encrypt your mail. Strong public-key encryption works. Then you can use any webmail service, and all they’re ever get from you is the metadata.

    • BobbyL says:

      DuckDuck Go doesn’t track so there should be no concern that your search terms are being retained. I use DuckDuck Go as my first choice because of no tracking. No tracking is explained at http://donttrack.us/

      • Recardo says:

        Thanks for the DuckDuckGo link – easy to remember too.

        Will do all I can to step away from Google.

  7. David F Collins says:

    A question: Google is doing Inhofe a huge favor. What is Google getting in return? I see nothing immediately apparent.

    • Merrelyn Emery says:

      But you can bet it is something, ME

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        ME, do you think that the picture of Inhofe in the Garden eerily resembles Kevin Rudd, gone to seed?

    • Superman1 says:

      The smartest companies and the smartest government agencies do everything possible to stay on the good side of EVERY legislator; it’s a form of insurance against whatever problems may arise.

  8. Darlene says:

    i will start using BING.. Really google…you suck!

    • Martin Vermeer says:

      If you think Microsoft is any better than Google, you have homework ahead

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        The NSA has been really supportive of Microsoft since the beginning, and have received a quid pro quo, despite Microsoft’s frequent denials.

  9. LinRP says:

    10,000 signed the petition? That doesn’t even register on google’s radar.

    This is, however, supremely weird.

  10. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    Google is so very much part of the problem.

  11. Jean O'Brien says:

    Dear Google, This is a mistake.

  12. Ken Barrows says:

    Okay, it’s a mistake but isn’t Inhofe a shoo-in? Oklahoma is, to say the least, not a Democratic state.

  13. Dennis says:

    Whatever happened to “Don’t be evil.” DuckDuckGo here I come!