Q: News stories say most CEOs supported Mitt Romney in the presidential election. Which CEOs supported President Barack Obama?
A: Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathaway), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jeffrey Katzenberg (DreamWorks Animation), Marc Benioff (Salesforce.com), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!) and Kenneth Cole (Kenneth Cole) are among the CEOs who contributed to Obama’s campaign, according to published reports.
Benioff, who is also the chairman of the tech company he founded, helped raise more than $500,000 for Obama’s campaign by hosting a fund-raiser that was $35,800 a plate. Benioff also contributed $10,000 to Paul Ryan’s political action committee, according to CNN.com.
“My approach to politics is that I’m not a Democrat or a Republican," Benioff said. “I’m an American, and I always support candidates I think are great for the country."
Q: Is there any data on the total number of federal government employees at the end of each fiscal year from 2008 through 2012?
A: The U.S. Office of Personnel Management provides official information about the federal workforce. The data cover total end-of-year civilian employment of full-time permanent, temporary, part-time and intermittent employees, according to opm.gov. Its total federal government employment data, only available through 2010, show:
2008: 4.2 million federal employees (including 2.69 million in the executive branch, which includes the U.S. Postal Service, and 1.45 million uniformed military personnel)
2009: 4.43 million federal employees (including 2.77 million in the executive branch and 1.59 million uniformed military personnel)
2010: 4.44 million federal employees (including 2.77 million in the executive branch and 1.6 million uniformed military personnel). The 2010 figures also include temporary employees for the decennial census.
Q: Could you please give a brief bio of Thomas Peterffy, who sponsored those anti-socialism TV spots? What is his political business background?
A: Peterffy was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1944 and couldn’t speak English when he arrived in the United States in 1965. He began designing commodities trading software, according to Forbes, and bought a seat on the American Stock Exchange in 1977. Peterffy traded options until 1993, when he started Interactive Brokers Group, which has helped him become a billionaire. Forbes reported Peterffy was worth $4.6 billion as of September.
Peterffy paid for the political ads in which he states: “I grew up in a socialist country and I have seen what that does to people. There is no hope, no freedom, no pride in achievement. The nation became poorer and poorer. And that’s what I see happening here."
Peterffy said he would vote Republican in November election and made contributions to the Republican National Committee, Mitt Romney and Republican Congressional campaigns, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Q: When was the last year that the penny was predominantly copper?
A: The U.S. one cent coin, commonly referred to as the penny, was 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc from 1962-82, when it was changed. Current one cent coins are 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper, according the U.S. Mint’s website (www.usmint.gov). One penny cost 2.4 cents to make in 2011, according to CNNMoney.