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Google Funding Right-Wing Advocacy Groups and Politicians

Tech-giant Google is lining the pockets of right-wing advocacy groups, according to a new report published by the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch. The watchdog organization revealed Google has given “substantial funding” to groups that oppose Obamacare as well as Heritage Action, the Senate campaign of Ted Cruz and the right-wing advocacy group of the tea-party like Heritage Foundation.

Bob McChesney, who co-founded the media reform group Free Press, is not surprised by Google’s decision to back right-wing political players and corporate lobby groups.

“It is all about getting policies that maximize profitability,” he said. “So even ostensibly hip companies like Google invariably spend lavishly to support groups and politicians that pursue decidedly anti-democratic policy outcomes.”

In response to the report, a spokesperson for the Cato institute, one of the best known of the right-wing groups supported by Google, explained that while Google does in fact donate to the Institute, no money exchanges hands in the deal.

“They basically donate free advertising,” Cato communications vice president Khristine Brookes said.

“We use the grant to buy text ads on the Google search network, promoting our research papers, blog posts, and op-eds, and have found that the ad buys are helpful in driving traffic to our site.”

A report by the Center for Responsive Politics also noted that while Google spending for Republican candidates outstripped the amount spent for Democrats a gap that appears will grow in 2014, Democratic causes still received a considerable chunk of change from the tech-giant.

This, according to Business Insider reporter Jim Edwards may suggest Google is looking out less for right-wing groups than for its own corporate interests.

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

Photo Credit; Barabas via Creative Commons

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Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.