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Facebook Backs Boehner, Other GOP Candidates

Facebook's political arm also funding top Dems.

Facebook’s political action committee is backing the reelection campaigns of top congressional leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor, according to its latest Federal Elections Commission filing.

In order to become certified by the FEC, Facebook Inc. PAC had to name five donation recipients, in addition to stating that they’ve been around for six months and have more than 50 members.

The earliest listed contribution on the filing is to House Speaker John Boehner’s campaign, on February 15. It has since funded House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s campaign, as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s, according to Facebook Inc. PAC’s filing with the FEC on March 30, 2012.

Facebook's PAC also donated to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s campaign and to Majority Leader Harry Reid’s.

There are likely many more politicians that have received donations, but only five had to be named in the filing. It is possible that other candidates received money before the donation to John Boener. No specific dollar amounts were noted, either, but that information will appear along with the names of all other recipients in the quarterly FEC filing due Sunday.

Facebook made news when it decided to launch its first PAC last fall, and in the following months pulled in $170,010 from 42 donors, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg and dozens of top executives, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ OpenSecrets.org.

Facebook VP of Advertising David Fischer joined Zuckerberg in donating $5,000 to Facebook Inc PAC, as did COO Sheryl Sandberg, VP of Corporate Communication Joe Lockhart, VP of Product Chris Cox, VP of Engineering Mike Schroepfer, CFO David Ebersman, CTO Bret Taylor, and numerous other directors and vice presidents.

Some notable non-Facebook employees have also donated to Facebook's PAC, including SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Partner Laura Cox Kaplan and Pierian Labs Executive Brian Goler.

In a statement last fall, Facebook spokesman Andrews Noyes said the new PAC would allow employees to have a greater stake in the political process.

The PAC “will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” said Noyes in an email to the Washington Post.

Who else the venerable social networking giant decided to give that money to, however, and how generously, will be unveiled Sunday.

Judy Horst April 12, 2012 at 08:44 PM
So sad, that these kinds of activities are now what passes for news.
Vanessa Castañeda (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Thanks for the feedback, Judy. I'd like to take this opportunity to ask you a question. What kind of news you would like to see on Patch?
Andrew Boone April 14, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I disagree, Judy. I think it's important for voters to know which politicians large companies (such as Facebook) are supporting and why. I'd be interested in reading a follow-up article that summarizes the dollar amounts that each candidate has received from the Facebook PAC, which this article states will be available in a quarterly filing to the FEC due Sunday. Vanessa, do any other Menlo Park companies or wealthy individuals have PACs or have contributed to political candidates? What about Google? They're much larger than Facebook and I'd be surprised if they haven't supported some candidates too.
Andrew Boone April 14, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Vanessa, I'm definitely interested in detailed coverage of the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan, which the City Council is going to review and probably finalize in May or June.
Vanessa Castañeda (Editor) April 14, 2012 at 03:43 AM
Andrew, I'm certain that other companies in town have contributed to political candidates, as have high-wealth individuals. Are you more interested in learning about what people are backing a particular candidate, or which companies are making their money talk? Re: ECR/DSP Me too. Stay tuned for stories about that. They're coming.

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