Republicans Try to Woo Silicon Valley

Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 11:44 AM

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Republican congressional chiefs are working to reverse the advantage Democrats have enjoyed in forging alliances with the technology industry.

The GOP is trying to draw Silicon Valley to its side on issues such as tax reform, cyber security, and immigration, Politico reports. House Whip Kevin McCarthy is taking a group of his colleagues to meet officials at top tech companies, including Google and Facebook.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Whip John Cornyn are attending several fundraisers in the San Francisco area, including one held by TechNet, Google PAC, and Oracle PAC.

Republicans have faced formidable obstacles in penetrating the tech space. Many in the industry object to the party’s social conservatism. And the Democrats’ superior digital prowess was seen as a major factor in President Barack Obama’s successful re-election campaign.

But Republicans now see a natural alliance with the tech set on issues such as immigration and tax reform. “I always felt Silicon Valley is kind of turning, especially issue-wise, to some of our items,” McCarthy told Politico.

For example, tech companies want to bring in more foreign engineers than they’re able to now, and they’d like a tax break to repatriate some of their hefty cash reserves being held overseas.

“The thing about Silicon Valley that’s different than other places: they’re further ahead,” McCarthy says.





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