Boeing is the largest aircraft manufacturer 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 companies and it was “Seattle”. They were working 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 City 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 overthrow the last presidential election. It seemed inconsistent with the image they had cultivated for 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 tabs on their business interests. Realistic business thinking.
However, some of their business interests may also have changed. Democratic President Joe Biden has said Trump supporters have a dagger in our democracy’s throat, and Democratic Governor Jay Inslee is calling for officials who lie about election results to be prosecuted.
Amazon and Microsoft continued to donate to both parties. But neither company made a single donation to any of the 147 Republican members of Congress after the attack on the US Capitol to overturn the 2020 election results.
In politics, being “a good government company” is something to strive for and be proud of, and to know that the companies you support back up their claims with their checkbooks.
Despite a brief hiatus, Boeing has shown no hesitation in supporting Republican lawmakers who voted against certifying Joe Biden’s presidential election. 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 to those who voted to accept the results, which were repeatedly deemed fair.
Accountable.us has provided a new report that found Boeing was the second-largest donor nationally to members of Congress who voted to void the election. Amazon suspended contributions to any member of Congress who voted to overturn the presidential election results. In February, Microsoft announced it would suspend donations to candidates who vote to overturn election results until 2022. Many companies were quick to condemn the Jan. 6, 2021, uprising. Boeing’s pause on political donations was short-lived at five months. Boeing made 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 story that all of us, along with Northwest values, were proud of.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact email@example.com.