Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.

Boeing’s latest political donations deserve a closer look | Roegner

Boeing is the largest manufacturer of airplanes in the world.

The company has been loyal to its employees, and Boeing Employee Credit Union is still a visible part of many of our communities. When we added Microsoft and Amazon, the world seemed to shine on the Northwest.

Boeing was the first of our big-time corporations and they were “Seattle.” They worked within the political fabric, even though it was pretty much a Democratic state and still is. Boeing’s lobbyists were among the most trusted and were active in good government programs like the Municipal League and the old Metro. Hard to imagine their current headquarters being in Chicago, given Chicago’s history.

I was a little surprised to see Boeing making campaign donations to Republicans who supported attempts to overturn the last presidential election. That seemed inconsistent with the image they had cultivated over many years. At the time of the move, the stated reason for the move was to be closer to the nation’s capital where they can keep an eye on their business interests. Realistic business thinking.

However, some of their corporate interests may have also changed. Democratic President Joe Biden has stated that Trump backers have a dagger at the throat of our democracy, and Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee is calling for officials who lie about election results to be prosecuted.

Both Amazon and Microsoft have continued to donate to both parties. But neither company has made a single donation to any of the 147 Republican members of Congress after the attack on the U.S. Capitol to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

In politics, being “a good government business” is something to strive for and be proud of, and knowing that the businesses you support back up their claims with their checkbooks.

Despite a brief pause, Boeing has shown no hesitation in supporting Republican legislators who voted against certifying the presidential election of Joe Biden. In 2021, Boeing donated $190,000 to 61 members of Congress who voted to overturn election results, according to campaign finance data. Boeing actually gave more money to Republican candidates who voted to overturn the election results than it did to those who voted to accept the results, which have been repeatedly determined to be fair.

Accountable.us has provided a new report that found Boeing to be the second largest donor nationally to members of Congress who voted to overturn the election. Amazon has suspended contributions to any member of Congress who voted to override the results of the presidential election. In February, Microsoft announced it would suspend donations to candidates who vote to overturn election results through 2022. Many corporations were quick to condemn the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021. Boeing’s pause on political donations was short lived at five months. Boeing provided donations to Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader who voted to overturn the election results.

Boeing represented Northwest values for many years and now seems to have forgotten its own history. It’s a history that all of us with Northwest values used to take pride in.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.


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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He is a former president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. Contact thebrunells@msn.com.
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