Posted by Fred Humphries
Vice President, US Government Affairs

As we approach the 2010 midterm elections, the topic of political contributions has received much media attention so I wanted to provide background on Microsoft’s own policies. 
 
As part of Microsoft’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, we adopted a set of political principles several years ago which have been periodically updated.  These political principles are available on our corporate website and are included annually in our Corporate Responsibility report.
 
The ten political principles we’ve adopted guide our engagement in the US political process.  By establishing these, we are holding ourselves accountable to an open and transparent engagement model with all stakeholders regarding our direct and indirect participation in the political process.  For example, this summer Microsoft revised these principles to state clearly we will not pay for any independent expenditures or electioneering communications, such as political advocacy advertisements by non-party organizations.  Additionally, our principles state that Microsoft will not make corporate contributions to any so-called “527” non-political party organizations.

Microsoft will continue to work with a range of stakeholders to advance the principles of openness, transparency and accountability.  We welcome the opportunity to work with others toward these goals.  Further, we will continue to regularly review our own policies and external relationships to ensure they are consistent with our values.  I urge you to read these principles and let us know what you think.