Is all politics local at Oracle?
Oracle (ORCL) filed its proxy late Friday and while most of the headlines have focused on Larry Ellison’s $61 million in compensation, including $1.7 million spent on his personal security, I found this sentence a lot more interesting:
We also assist our executive officers with complying with reporting obligations under federal, state and local laws in connection with their personal political campaign contributions. The Compensation Committee believes there is a benefit to Oracle in ensuring that its executive officers comply with these reporting requirements given the low cost of this program.
Oracle began offering this perk last year and a quick skim of Open Secrets shows that Oracle employees, including many executives, have been pretty active this campaign season, contributing $120K so far (compare that with the $12,600 that Apple (AAPL) employees have donated so far). And one name stands out as being an Oracle favorite: Katrina Swett, who’s running for Senate against John Sununu. While Oracle is based in Silicon Valley, the contributions to Swett aren’t totally out of character: the company does have a research facility in Nashua, NH. Over 2o% of Oracle employees’ contributions so far have gone to Swett.
As the race for the President, Senate and House begins to heat up, it will be interesting to see how many other companies offer a similar perk to their employees. After all, anyone who’s ever filled out one of those campaign contribution forms knows they can be almost as confusing as a Form 4.