Tags: Trump Administration | GOP | Silicon Valley

GOP Eyes Deep Pockets in Democrat Stronghold Silicon Valley

By    |   Monday, 01 Dec 2014 10:30 AM

Republicans have historically come up empty-handed as they sought out Silicon Valley's support, Politico reports, but now the party and its candidates are pushing hard and finding greater reception for a new embrace in advance of 2016 elections.

“If you look historically at who people donate to, it’s really been 9 or 10 to 1, Democrat to Republican — we haven’t done as well,” said Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is looking west for investment in the GOP, noting tax policies and other issues where he thinks there is a mutual fit for the deep-pocketed technology industry, Politico noted.

“Republicans are actually going to try to do something to help the economy,” he predicted as a GOP Congress prepares to take power in Washington next month.

With technology firms making up some of the nation's most successful companies, Republicans looking to build broader donor coalitions see them as crucial, Politico noted, following in the footsteps of two previous Obama campaigns that received a deep embrace from Google, LinkedIn, Zynga and Yahoo among others.

“We’re talking about some very deep pockets here,” Larry Gerston, a professor at San Jose State University and public policy expert told Politico. “They’re just figuring out that money can buy them things they never imagined. For all their efforts, certainly, Republican tech types and folks close to the Republican Party haven’t managed well.”

Still, some believe their efforts are paying off. The Los Angeles Times noted that while Democrats "haven't lost their advantage," in that market-space, "Bay Area techies are writing increasingly bigger checks to the GOP."

The Times cited a fundraiser hosted this summer by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google's ongoing funding of several conservative think tanks as well as the "bromance" that some have observed between SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who represents a district near Bakersfield.

"Balancing the need for innovation against entrenched special interests has become a difficult thing for the left," noted venture capitalist Joe Lonsdale, who has supported several Republican candidates of late. "A lot of Republicans have economic views that are more in line with the way many of us here see the world."

One issue that could stymie any bridge of the political divide — and halt financial support — however, is net neutrality, The Huffington Post noted, as Republicans and the president square off in yet another hot debate.

"Tech insiders say that Republicans’ bombastic opposition to net neutrality is threatening that support, even as it wins the party political favor with the telecom and cable companies bankrolling their campaigns," The Huffington Post wrote.

Noted tech industry attorney Marvin Ammori: "Republicans will want both tech and cable, and might have to choose between the two."

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Republicans have historically come up empty-handed as they sought out Silicon Valley's support, Politico reports, but now the party and its candidates are pushing hard and finding greater reception for a new embrace in advance of 2016 elections.
GOP, Silicon Valley
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2014-30-01
Monday, 01 Dec 2014 10:30 AM
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