Is One of Rubio’s Biggest Financial Backers to Tallying Iowa Caucuses?

One of Marco Rubio’s biggest financial backers, Microsoft Corp. will be providing the technology to count the votes of Iowa caucus-goers, according to a new report. Is this a conflict of interest or just generosity? You decide:

Marco Rubio

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign is raising concerns about the corporation’s potential conflict of interest in tallying the votes.

As The Hill reports:

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Microsoft volunteered to provide the technology to help tally up the results of Iowa’s caucus, free of charge… The contests in both parties are expected to go down to the wire… Pete D’Alessandro, who runs the Sanders operation in Iowa, last week questioned the tech giant’s motivations… Other aides to Sanders noted that Microsoft employees have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Clinton campaign, according to MSNBC. “You’d have to ask yourself why they’d want to give something like that away for free,” D’Alessandro said.

The Sanders campaign’s suggestion that Microsoft may have financial interests at stake in the outcome of the race is true for both parties.

As conservative columnist Michelle Malkin pointed out last month, “Microsoft, founded by leading H-1B/amnesty cheerleader Bill Gates, has been [Marco] Rubio’s No. 2 corporate donor the past five years.”

As Breitbart News has previously reported, according to Open Secrets, Microsoft is the second largest contributor to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)79%
’s campaign committee since 2011, donating $33,100.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is a member of Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration lobbying firm FWD.us and former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is a co-chair of the immigration lobbying firm the Partnership for a New American Economy—along with Fox News’s founder Rupert Murdoch.

Both immigration lobbying firms have endorsed and lobbied for Marco Rubio’s 2015 immigration expansion bill—known as the Immigration Innovation Act, or I-Sqaured—which would have tripled the issuances of low-wage H-1B guest worker visas.

According to USCIS data analyzed by ComputerWorld’s Patrick Thibodeau, Microsoft is the 12th biggest user of the H-1B program—having brought in 1,048 foreign workers on H-1Bs in 2013.

Microsoft’s reliance upon imported foreign labor comes at a time of large-scale layoffs for the corporation. In 2014, Microsoft announced its plans to lay off 18,000 workers at the same time the company was lobbying to increase the H-1B program, prompting strong condemnation from U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)80%
, a top opponent of Marco Rubio’s H-1B expansion plan.

In 2007, Bill Gates even testified before Congress and called for an unlimited number skilled foreign workers—particularly in engineering—to be admitted into the country. “My basic view is that the country should welcome as many of those people as we can get,” Gates declared. “Even though it may not be realistic, I don’t think there should be any limit.”

However, according to U.S. census data there are more than 11 million Americans with degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) who lack employment in these fields. In fact, U.S. schools are graduating two times more students with STEM degrees than are annually finding employment in these fields.

In a 2014 USA Today op-ed titled, “Bill Gates Tech Worker Fantasy,” labor experts explained that the tech labor market—contrary to Gates’s claims—is currently over saturated, which has resulted in lower wages for America’s tech workers:

Business executives and politicians endlessly complain that there is a “shortage” of qualified Americans and that the U.S. must admit more high-skilled guest workers to fill jobs in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and math. This claim is echoed by everyone from President Obama and Rupert Murdoch to Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates… [Yet] as longtime researchers of the STEM workforce and immigration… none of us has been able to find any credible evidence to support the IT industry’s assertions of labor shortages… The tech industry’s promotion of expanded temporary visas (such as the H-1B) and green cards is driven by its desire for cheap, young and immobile labor. It is well documented that loopholes enable firms to legally pay H-1Bs below their market value and to continue the widespread age discrimination acknowledged by many in the tech industry… IT industry leaders have spent lavishly on lobbying to promote their STEM shortage claims among legislators. The only problem is that the evidence contradicts their self-interested claims.

Although it has not received much attention from the establishment media, the H-1B issue has played a critical role in the 2016 election.

In Florida, scores of Marco Rubio’s own constituents were laid off by Disney and were forced to train their low-wage foreign replacements brought in on H-1B visas. The American tech workers launched a discrimination lawsuit against Disney earlier this week.

As a result, Rubio has come under fire for being one of the most ardent champions of the cheap foreign labor program—having introduced his I-Squared bill, which would expand the H-1B program, as recently as last year.

So what do you think? Is Rubio in hot water for this? Should Microsoft have donated technology? Sound off in the comments below!

Written by Katie McGuire. Send your hate mail to the author at [email protected], or feel free to mean tweet me at @GOPKatie, where I will be sure to do very little about it.

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McGuire

Writer, Blogger. Political aficionado. Addicted to all levels of government campaigns.

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