- Tech industry executives have donated millions this election cycle, mostly to Democratic campaigns and PACs, CNBC found.
- Asana CEO Dustin Moskovitz donated $24 million and was a major contributor to the pro-Biden Future Forward USA super PAC.
- Other leaders, like Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings, have donated more than $5 million to Democratic PACs.
- Silicon Valley has always leaned to the left, and CNBC and Protocol found few donations to Republicans: Venture capitalist Peter Thiel donated $2 million to a Republican Senate candidate, while an Apple executive donated $150,000 to the Trump Victory Fund.
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Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech executives and other influencers donated millions of dollars to political campaigns ahead of the 2020 election.
The 2020 election is most expensive in history, the result of a contentious presidential race and close Senate and House races. This meant heavy spending from millionaire and billionaire donors, including those from the tech industry.
CNBC’s Ari Levy calculated total donations from tech leaders ahead of the 2020 election, citing data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The data showed most of the spending went toward electing former Vice President Joe Biden and securing Democratic control of the Senate.
CNBC found that billionaire executives like Asana’s Dustin Moskovitz, former Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, and Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson and his wife Erica were among the biggest contributors to the Future super PAC. Forward USA pro-Biden. During this election cycle, Moskovitz, Schmidt and the Lawsons have spent about $24 million, $6 million and $7 million, respectively.
Other major donors include
co-CEO Reed Hastings, who — along with his wife, Patty Quillin — has donated more than $5 million, mostly to a Democratic PAC backing tight Senate races, according to CNBC.
CNBC has tracked donations from other key players in the tech industry, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, Y Combinator co-founder Jessica Livingston and capitals. -venturers Vinod Khosla and Michael Moritz. All contributed to Democratic groups, CNBC found.
CNBC Discoveries Mirror previous data reported by Protocol, which tracked the political spending of tech company executives like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. While the CEOs of these companies have been reluctant to make major political donations, other leaders, like Microsoft President Brad Smith or Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, have donated to campaigns and organizations. PACs, mostly Democrats.
The protocol revealed that as of mid-October, tech executives have donated more than $16 million during the current election cycle, though that amount has most likely continued to rise in the weeks that follow. followed.
In the findings of Protocol and CNBC, very few key Silicon Valley players have contributed to Republican groups or campaigns. The memorandum revealed that Douglas Vetter, vice president and associate general counsel at Apple, has donated to every Republican presidential candidate since 2004, including $150,000 to the Trump Victory Fund. And venture capitalist Peter Thiel gave $2 million to a PAC supporting a Kansas Senate candidate who lost in the primary this year, according to CNBC.
Silicon Valley has long leaned on Democrats, especially when it comes to policies such as climate change and immigration. CNBC found that 98% of employee donations went to Democrats this election cycle, with companies like Netflix, Nvidia and Adobe distorting the most liberal in terms of donations.
In recent years, the tech industry has come under increased scrutiny from both sides, with Republicans accusing companies like Facebook and Twitter of censoring conservative voices and Democrats saying big tech companies like Amazon and Google should be dismantled.