Amid Amazon Bid Talk: Amazon's PAC Donations to New Hampshire Politicians

Sep 26, 2017

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ political donations are not all tethered to one party. This holds true in New Hampshire, which plans to submit an underdog bid for the online retailer’s second headquarters.

The Amazon PAC has contributed to a Sununu -- former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, the governor’s brother. The PAC gave $2,000 to the former Senator in the 2008 campaign. It donated $1,000 in 2004 to the Daniel Webster PAC, the senator's leadership PAC at the time.

Other Amazon PAC donations, according to Federal Election Commission finance reports, include:

  • Former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH - $4,000
  • Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass, R-NH - $3,000
  • U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-NH - $1,500

The search through campaign donations was made after Gov. Chris Sununu said he met Bezos at a dinner in Washington, D.C., earlier this year. Sununu says New Hampshire will be submitting a bid for Amazon’s second headquarters. Proposals are due Oct. 19.

 

Amazon does have a “fulfillment center” warehouse in Nashua, according to its corporate communications office. Indeed, Amazon has a job posting for an area manager at the Nashua center.

 

New Hampshire’s bid is seen as a long shot based on Amazon’s specified criteria. For example, the company has a preference for an urban area with a population of more than 1 million people. Amazon says the new $5 billion facility would grow to 50,000 employees and rival its Seattle headquarters.

 

All this hasn’t stopped Granite Staters from saying New Hampshire should not be ruled out.

 

A grassroots group of residents are behind a “NH for Amazon” page on Facebook.

The Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce had a blog post, “Hey Amazon, Why Not Manchester?”

 

Chamber President Mike Skelton says Manchester is home to other world-class tech companies, such as Dean Kamen’s Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute. “We want to be part of that action,” he says.

 

Skelton and others have said pursuit of a big business like Amazon is, if nothing else, a good exercise.

 

New Hampshire’s labor force may be among the challenges for trying to woo an Amazon.

Economist Russ Thibeault, with Applied Economic Research in Laconia, says the low unemployment rate could be a detriment. And then there’s the steep opposition from other states offering big incentives.

 

What-ifs are still being entertained, however.

 

Thibeault says recruitment of a mammoth facility with 50,000 direct jobs could spin-off thousands of indirect jobs. That would mean one out of every 10 jobs in the state would be directly or indirectly tied to Amazon.