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Bezos, other Amazon execs contribute to Gardner’s 2020 re-election bid

Author: Marianne Goodland - November 1, 2018 - Updated: November 1, 2018

Amazon GardnerIn this 2014 file photo, Rep. Cory Gardner delivers a speech to Republican delegates at the state GOP Congress, in Boulder. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and eight company executives kicked in contributions between $250 and $5,400 in an 11-day period in September to Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner’s 2020 re-election campaign, according to a recent report from CNBC.

Denver has been listed among cities being considered by Amazon for a second company headquarters, although Gov. John Hickenlooper recently said he believes Denver is no longer in the running.

The contributions were made between Sept. 17 and Sept. 25.

The contributors:

  • Jeff Bezos, CEO: $5,400 (the maximum allowable contribution to a congressional candidate) on Sept. 17
  • David Clark, senior vice president of operations, $5,400 on Sept. 20
  • Jeffrey Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s worldwide consumer division, $5,400 on Sept. 25
  • Brian Olsavsky, CFO, $5,400 on Sept. 24
  • Doug Herrington, senior vice president for North American consumer division, $5,400 on Sept. 14
  • Brian Huseman, vice president for public policy, $2,700 on Sept. 16
  • Michael Deal, vice president and associate general counsel, $1,000 on Sept. 24
  • Kurt Lamp, vice president for state tax and tax operations, $1,000
  • Shannon Kellog, director of Amazon web services public policy, $250 on Sept. 17

> RELATED: Hickenlooper sounds doubtful about Denver winning Amazon HQ2

CNBC reports that Gardner “is one of the top beneficiaries of Amazon’s campaign donations in the 2018 election cycle even though he’s not running, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The two candidates above him on that list are Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who is looking to unseat Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas this cycle, and Democratic Washington Sen. Maria Cantwell, who is seeking re-election in November.”

CNBC cites Gardner’s co-sponsorship of S.88, the Developing Innovation and Growing the Internet of Things Act, or DIGIT Act, as one possible reason for Amazon’s support. The act would plan for, and encourage, the growth of the Internet of Things (basically, a chip that allows devices to communicate with each other). Amazon supports the measure.

Bezos is also the single largest contributor to the With Honor Pac, a political action committee that focuses on electing veterans. He has contributed $10.1 million out of the $18.5 million it has raised to date.

According to the Federal Elections Commission, those who list Amazon as their employer have made $22.5 million in political contributions in the 2017-18 election season.

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland

Marianne Goodland is the chief legislative reporter for Colorado Politics. She's covered the Colorado General Assembly for 20 years, starting off in 1998 with the Silver & Gold Record, the editorially-independent newspaper at CU that was shuttered in 2009. She also writes for six rural newspapers in northeastern Colorado. Marianne specializes in rural issues, agriculture, water and, during election season, campaign finance. In her free time (ha!) she lives in Lakewood with her husband, Jeff; a cantankerous Shih-Tzu named Sophie; and Gunther the cat. She is also an award-winning professional harpist.