Washington Free Beacon
Several prominent corporations with business links to the government have lined up to donate to the festivities since the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee announced it would accept corporate funds.
The donations, barred in 2009, were first reported in December. The committee is selling different levels of access to inaugural events to both individuals and corporations. At least one government watchdog group immediately questioned the decision, raising ethical concerns.
“The decision prioritizes a lavish celebration over the integrity of the office,” wrote John Wonderlich, policy director for the pro-government transparency Sunlight Foundation.
The committee’s website lists the donors but does not provide the amount of the donations.
Included in the list of donors is Microsoft, which scored a three-year contract with the Department of Defense on Friday to equip the Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency. The deal will put Microsoft’s newest operating system, Windows 8, on about three-fourths of the department’s computers.
Microsoft’s announcement praised the deal as “the most comprehensive licensing agreement Microsoft Corp. has ever established with the U.S. Department of Defense.”