Billionaire Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is hosting a golf fundraiser for President Trump's reelection campaign on Wednesday, and some Oracle employees have started a petition saying that the event runs counter to "Oracle’s core values of diversity, inclusiveness, and ethical business conduct."
The Change.org petition now has over 2,300 signatures, though it's unclear whether all of those are from Oracle employees. "As Oracle employees, we must hold our leaders accountable for upholding their ethical responsibilities," the petition reads. "Ellison's financial support of Donald Trump endangers the well-being of women, immigrants, communities of color, the environment, LGBTQ and trans communities, disabled people, and workers everywhere. Additionally, his alliance with this ignoble and destructive figure damages our company culture as well as our relationships with partners and customers."
A senior copywriter at the company, Monica McClure, was the only person that the Silicon Valley Business Times could get to speak on the record about the petition. She says, "When I saw the news [of the fundraiser], I just thought it was pretty brazen and upsetting. I think it’s only fair that we voice our disagreement and our discontent, because there are a lot of different perspectives within our company."
The February 19 fundraiser is taking place at Ellison's property in Rancho Mirage, in the Coachella Valley, and attendees can pay $100,000 to play a round of golf and then get a photo with Trump. Those who pay $250,000 get to join in a roundtable discussion with Trump, per the Desert Sun.
Employees of Oracle who spoke with the Business Times explained that the company doesn't tend to have many moments of outspoken political revolt. As McClure puts it, "It’s not a culture where we’re openly encouraged to discuss our politics and discuss our ideas. It’s all just sort of polite." And that would stand to reason given that Ellison has done plenty of donating to Republican candidates over the years — though among Silicon Valley's richest people, Business Insider referred to him in 2012 as "more of an independent moderate."
As ZDNet points out, Ellison may also be angling to win a multi-billion dollar JEDI cloud computing contract from the Pentagon, which Microsoft won after Google pulled out of competing. But President Trump's frequent tweeting negative things about Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has led to legal action from Amazon that has frozen the contract process, and now Ellison may want to slip in to claim all or part of the contract.