Search This Blog

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Facebook, Campaign Money, and Immigration

A number of posts have discussed the political activities of the tech industry. Open Secrets reports:
The Facebook corporate PAC has donated $110,000 to members of Congress so far this year, dutifully handing out large donations to congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle -- but lavishing particular attention on key figures in the fight for overhauling the immigration system.

Immigration has been a particular interest to Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg, and the company's spending on lobbying, much of it related to immigration, is on track to blow away its 2012 spending. Fittingly, the single biggest recipient of cash from the PAC was Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), a key figure in negotiations to get the recent immigration bill passed in the Senate. Bennet, a member of the so-called "Gang of 8," has long been a proponent of overhauling immigration rules, and in particular visa programs to bring more high-tech workers to the United States. That's a particular interest of Facebook and other high-tech companies.

In total, Bennet picked up $10,000 from Facebook's PAC -- $5,000 to his campaign committee and $5,000 to his leadership PAC.

The PAC also gave the maximum of $5,000 to other members of the Gang of 8, including $5,000 each to the leadership PACs of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The PAC donated to $16,000 to five members of the 13 members of the Senate's subcommittee on immigration, refugees and border security.

Congressional leadership, whose help will be needed to bring an immigration bill through the House -- if it goes through the House -- and ultimately reconcile it with the already passed Senate version, were also lavished with donations. The PAC maxed out to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Majority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)