Voting With Your Dollars

Everyone knows that millions of dollars are flowing into the campaigns of John McCain, Sarah Palin, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden right now.
But do you know who the companies you buy products from everyday are supporting with the dollars you give them? And do you know whether companies you support are supporting politicians you would not support?

GoodGuide, in partnership with the Center for Responsive Politics, is releasing company-focused campaign finance data today, showing the political donations of major corporations to Republican and Democratic parties and candidates.

There are some big surprises in this data. Barack Obama supporters may be surprised to learn that Procter & Gamble, the maker of the Tide laundry detergent and Pantene shampoo you bought last week, donates overwhelmingly to Republicans. And Sarah Palin supporters may be surprised to learn that your Estee Lauder lipstick (which we hope you won’t actually try putting on a pitbull) provides revenue to a company that overwhelmingly supports Democratic candidates.

Also interesting is that some prominent consumer products firms such as Unilever have chosen to not contribute to political parties or candidates through PACs or corporate donations. (They do, however, lobby heavily on legislation.) In cases like Unilever, we still show you the donations of their employees. And over time we hope to add in information on corporate lobbying related to environmental, social, and consumer safety regulations.

So, for the first time, you can easily see whether companies you support donate more to Democrats or Republicans. Check out goodguide.com/contributions and Click “Republican” or “Democratic” to see which companies support your political perspective. Or, search GoodGuide for specific products and learn whether a green product is really Red or Blue!

About Dara O'Rourke

Associate Professor at UC Berkeley and Co-Founder of GoodGuide.
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