At noon Pacific on Monday, an airplane will approach Google’s headquarters in Mountain View. But it’s not a skydiving product demo this time. It’s towing a banner for a campaign to convince Google to quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its record on climate change denial, Internet censorship, and money.
Google has been considering leaving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for nearly a year after Yahoo left in October 2011. Google is still paying dues to this powerful lobbying organization, even though its record stands at odds with Google’s positions and threatens its business.
The Chamber lobbies heavily to protect the entertainment industry, a constituency Google needs on its side as it forays further into music, TV and video businesses. But the Chamber’s advocacy for Internet censorship legislation such as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which Google publicly opposed, proved a bridge too far for Yahoo. Today’s demonstration urges Google to follow suit.
The Chamber is all about the interests of big business, so its record on the environment is pretty heinous, too. Google donates money to clean energy causes and has long-term corporate targets to reduce its own energy use. This is yet another reason Google’s relationship with the Chamber doesn’t make sense.
In addition to these issues, the Chamber of Commerce stands for a bunch of indisputably nasty things. The top 10 reasons Google should quit the Chamber according to voters on the campaign are horrifying.
The Chamber wants unlimited corporate political donations. It opposed the creation of a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. due to lost productivity. It opposes efforts to equalize pay between men and women. Todd Akin, the guy who thinks victims of “legitimate rape” don’t get pregnant, was one of the Chamber’s biggest recipients of political spending this year. Yeah. Nasty.
The GoogleQuitTheChamber.org campaign has received over 800,000 votes on the best reasons for Google to quit the Chamber of Commerce, and over 275,000 people have signed their names to the petition.