Jeff Bezos is one of the richest and most influential people in the world and there is no doubt that any of the political parties in America would love to have him promote their values and ideology. But over the years, the Amazon billionaire has supported the Democratic party as much as he has supported Republicans. In the same vein, he has kicked against some policies of both parties, as well as other political parties. This makes it hard for anyone to proclaim that he supports or is against any party. As far as we know, the Amazon founder has maintained a nonpartisan stance.
Jeff Bezos Supports Politicians With Policies He Believes In Regardless of Their Political Parties
Over the years Jeff Bezos has been involved in politics, it has become clear that he is an independent voter who believes in nonpartisanism. What this means is that he has supported political candidates based on what he thinks they have to offer rather than the party they belong to.
Sometime in 2018, the billionaire and his ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, made what was described as their “first major political donation” to a nonpartisan fund. It was reported that they donated $10 million to With Honor, an organization that describes itself as a cross-partisan movement. As culled from its site, With Honor is out to promote military veteran leadership in public service not only through grants and charitable donations but also through education and advocacy programs. Its aim is to facilitate the election of officials with integrity and civility into public offices to ultimately create a government that’s less polarized.
Commenting on the donation, the founder of the organization, Rey Barcott, related that Jeff and his now ex-wife consider themselves to be “pretty nonpartisan”. Rey also added that With Honor’s focus on values and integrity in their mission to elect military veterans to leadership positions appealed to the former couple. This is only one of the instances that have shown that Bezos only supports politicians and political endeavors based on what he perceives as ideal and good for the general public, or at least to him.
He Has Made Donations to Support Both Democratic and Republican Candidates
Mostly, you can tell people’s political affiliation based on the candidates they support during an election. This is not the case with Jeff Bezos as he has supported candidates from two of the most prominent parties in America. His company, Amazon, has a political action committee (PAC) through which it makes donations to support federal candidates from both the Democratic and the Republican parties.
Jeff is known to donate to this committee which shares the funds it receives; almost always evenly, among the two prominent parties. In the latest cycle (2019-2020), Amazon.com PAC generated a total of $1,307,500. 50.40 percent ($659,000) of the amount went to Democrats while 49.60% ($648,500) went to Republicans. The money was distributed to House and Senate candidates across the two parties.
Disregarding the donations he has made through the Amazon.com PAC, Jeff Bezos has also donated directly to political candidates from both parties. However, a Washingtonpost report claims he has donated more to democrats. Some of the democratic candidates he has supported with his money include Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Maria Cantwell, Sen. Patty Murray, and Rep. John Conyers. For Republicans, he is known to have supported former senator Spencer Abraham and Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay who ran for California governor’s office in 2010.
The Amazon Founder is Considered a Libertarian in Some Quarters
In recent times, people have been caught in between deciding if Jeff Bezos is a Democrat or a Republican. Most have concluded he is independent as he has supported candidates from both parties over time, as much as he has endorsed and kicked against policies from either party. For instance, his donation of $2.5 million in 2012 to Washington United for Marriage in support of same-sex marriage was regarded as Democratic-leaning; whereas two years earlier (in 2010), he had people thinking he was more of a Republican when he forked out $100,000 to kick against a move to impose a state income tax on wealthy residents of Washington.
Before the billionaire started giving people reasons to wonder if he is a Democrat or a Republican, it was believed in some quarters that he was a libertarian. Reports have it that Nick Hanauer, who is one of the earliest Amazon investors, described him as such. This isn’t surprising for many as libertarians are known for their quest to maximize political freedom and autonomy, a feature that has characterized Jeff Bezos’ political involvements.
The investor is also known to have donated to Reason Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting libertarian principles. The foundation publishes the libertarian magazine, Reason, and also runs the website, Reason.com.
Jeff Bezos’ Feud With Donald Trump Began Before The Latter Became The 45th President of The United States
Throughout Trump’s presidency, it was obvious that the former president of the United State was no fan of the Amazon billionaire. Many believe it’s because of The Washington Post and rightly so. Bezos had acquired the daily newspaper for $250 million in August 2013. Right from Trump’s presidential campaign, the newspaper has been known to run stories that didn’t project Trump in a good light. As such, the former president grouped the outlet among others as “fake media”.
In December 2015, Trump aimed his first shot at Bezos, alleging that he only acquired The Washington Post to evade paying Amazon taxes. Jeff responded and joked about sending Trump to space through his company, Blue Origin. When Trump emerged as president of the United States in 2016, Jeff publicly congratulated and wished him well, but it failed to change anything as President Trump continued accusing Bezos of evading tax on Twitter.
Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump. I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country.
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 10, 2016
Their feud culminated in Amazon losing a $10 billion contract from the Department of Defense to Microsoft. Amazon would later file a lawsuit, contending that it lost the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract because Trump mounted improper pressure, public and behind-the-scene attacks, to steer the contract away from Amazon just to get back at Bezos whom he considers as his political enemy.