Tea Party Senators and a conservative newspaper came -- briefly -- to Apple's defense.
FORTUNE -- Steve Jobs wasn't given to making political statements, but he did send signals: He dated Joan Baez, he toasted Barack Obama and, according to Walter Isaacson's biography, he chewed out Rupert Murdoch privately for letting Fox News become "an incredibly destructive force in our society."
But when Tim Cook testified before a Senate subcommittee about Apple's (AAPL) taxes, it was a Democrat, Carl Levin, who gave Jobs' successor the hardest time, and two Republicans elected with Tea Party support -- Ron Johnson and Rand Paul -- who came to his defense. ("I'm offended by the tone of these hearings," said Sen. Paul, "Apple has done more to enrich people's lives than politicians will ever do.")
Perhaps Apple's most surprising support after the hearing came from the Washington Examiner, a free daily newspaper owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschultz and described by Politico as "a megaphone for [Anschutz's] right-wing views on taxes, national security and President Barack Obama." Under the headline "Apple becomes latest target of the Beltway Shakedown" columnist Tim Carney wrote:
"The grilling of Apple is best understood as a shakedown by politicians upset with Apple for not playing the Washington game that yields contributions, power, and personal wealth for congressmen and their aides.
"Apple doesn't have a political action committee to fund incumbents' re-elections. Apple doesn't hire many congressional staff or any former congressmen as lobbyists. Apple mostly minds its own business -- and how does that help the political class?"
In this context, the appointment this week of former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson as Apple's vice president for environmental initiatives could have a double effect. She's a Beltway insider who could give the company access to the corridors of power. And as a long-time scourge of conservative columnists who saw her as "tyrant" and an "especially abusive and willful regulator" (to quote the Wall Street Journal), she could shake loose Apple's support from the right.
"Her EPA specialty was imposing rules regardless of costs, while stretching 'benefits' with doughy concepts such as economic redistribution and alleviating racial grievances," wrote the Journal's Joseph Rago in Thursday's paper. "Then again, with roughly $145 billion of cash on hand, Apple may be the only U.S. company rich enough to afford Ms. Jackson."
Shell Oil's money sent Lisa Jackson to college. An oil pipeline drove her from the EPA.
FORTUNE -- For people who didn't know much about Lisa P. Jackson before Tim Cook announced Tuesday that he had hired the former head of the EPA as Apple's (AAPL) first vice president for environmental initiatives, here's a briefing:
She was born in Philadelphia, raised in New Orleans, graduated summa com laude from Tulane and got a masters MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - May 30, 2013 12:51 PM ET
EPA chief Lisa Jackson says tech companies tend to be young, hip and green. Now they need to think about recycling on the front end.
By Shelley DuBois, reporter
Garbage is money, says Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. She claims that's especially true for tech products that are built with some of the more valuable elements.
"What happens to our our smartphones and our other products is they MOREJul 24, 2010 1:10 PM ET
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