Musician David Lowery has strongly criticised Pandora founder Tim Westergren over his political donations, drawing on data from the Open Secrets website. Specifically, he’s angry that Westergren made a donation to “radical anti-gay politician” Jason Chaffetz, who has been a controversial figure due to his attempts to ban gay marriage in Washington DC. Chaffetz sponsored the Internet Radio Fairness Act last year that Pandora was strongly behind. Or, in Lowery’s characteristically-forthright view: “A very nasty story of anti-gay demagoguery, political corruption, corporate skullduggery and pay-to-play politics”. For its part, Pandora provided a statement to Billboard claiming that Lowery’s article “is an unfortunate distraction from the substantive conversation about how to ensure that the music industry thrives well into the future”. But as the US gears up for another ill-tempered debate over Pandora’s royalty commitments, expect more examination of Westergren and other executives’ political lobbying and donations in the coming months.

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