The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Facebook's Zuckerberg PAC ( Supports Keystone XL Pipeline and Drilling In Wildlife Refuge! Two CEOS Quit PAC

It should surprise no one that Mark Zuckerberg and other technology company CEOs would have significant interest in Immigration Reform.  Every semester thousands upon thousands foreign nationals attend college in the US. The opportunity to hire large numbers of people from other nations with skills (either acquire or experienced) in software engineering is critical to their businesses.   Work permits, Work Visas and Student Visas are as critical for high tech companies as Rush Limbaugh's cadre of 'ditto heads' to support his opulent virulent demagoguery and CUMULUS Media, Inc. contract.  

If well trained engineers, technologist and specialist work as critical subject matter experts for companies like Facebook, the following page meme makes sense.

Photo: Sign up to join key leaders from Silicon Valley in passing comprehensive immigration reform:

Photo: If you're part of the 66%, show your support at              
If you're part of the 66%, show your
support at
Photo: A new poll finds 71% of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform. Add your name to this growing movement to reform our broken immigration system:
A new poll finds 71% of Americans support comprehensive immigration reform. Add your name to this growing movement to reform our broken immigration system:       
What is (WIKI) is a 501(c)(4) lobbying group based in the United States that aims to lobby and advocate for its version of immigration reform, changes to the US education system to improve science and technology education, and the facilitation of scientifc breakthroughs with broad public benefits. It is primarily supported and funded by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. The initiative is led by principal Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and its president is Joe Green, a close friend and confidante of Zuckerberg. The group is non-partisan and aims to build a bipartisan consensus around its proposed policies.
All is well and as logical as the computing code necessary to fuel the revenue stream of any company reliant of expertise often acquired by foreign nationals. 

Launch (WIKI following link notation "2" below) was launched on April 11, 2013. The launch was accompanied by an op-ed by Mark Zuckerberg in the Washington Post laying out the agenda and arguing for the vision of the group.[2]There was extensive media coverage of the launch.


Founders and key supporters 

The founders of include Mark Zuckerberg (the public face of the group), Joe Green (founder and president of the group), Microsoft founder Bill GatesDropbox employees Drew Houston and Ruchi SanghviLinkedIn CEO and founder Reid Hoffman, super-angel Ron Conway, and venture capitalists Jim Breyer (of Accel Partners)Matt Cohler (of Benchmark Capital), John Doerr (of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers), and Chamath Palihapitiya (of The Social+Capital Partnership).[1] 
Other major contributors include Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft), Brian Chesky (founder of Airbnb), Chris CoxPaul Graham (co-founder of Y Combinator), Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix), Chad HurleyJosh JamesMax Levchin (former CTO of Paypal), Joe Lonsdale (founder of Palantir and Addepar), Andrew Mason (founder and CEO of Groupon), Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo!), Mary MeekerDave Morin (CEO of Path), Mark PincusKeith RaboisDavid SacksEric Schmidt (executive chairman at Google Inc), Brad Smith (Microsoft executive vice president of legal affairs),Kevin Systrom (CEO of Instagram), Padmasree Warrior (CTO of Cisco), and Fred Wilson (of Union Square Ventures).[1]Although some earlier reports, including the leaked prospectus by Politico, had suggested that Bill Gates and Marc Andreessen would be involved with,[5] their names did not appear on the site at launch.[10] However, Gates' name was added to the list of founders later.[14]
Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX and of Tesla Motors) was originally listed as a major contributor, but left the group in the wake of advertisements put out by supporting some political activities that conflicted with Musk's environmentalist priorities.[15]

As of April 11, 2013.  

All is well, and the list of high tech heavy weights is impressive.

Plans prior to launch (WIKI)

The leaked prospectus obtained by Politico suggested that the lobbying group was planning to use the tremendous leverage that tech companies and their leaders had in pushing their agenda to the public, similar to the tactics used for the protests against SOPA and PIPA that were coordinated for January 18, 2012. However, in the same Politico article, Joe Green said that the prospectus used misleading language, and that various tech leaders would, "operating solely as individuals", promote the agenda of the lobbying group.[5] 
According to the leaked prospectus, the tactics were described as follows:
"grassroots and grasstops" organizing in targeted congressional districts, online advocacy campaigns, paid online and television advertising that will be “critical to creating the political infrastructure we need” and “earned media.”[5]
Grass roots organizing to support immigration reform for highly skilled foreign nationals?  It appears something was a bit off track, or a bit "helter skelter," if you will. We found the following on the Facebook Page. It is dated April 20, 2013 so our timeline leaps forward a bit.

All is not well! There is something strikingly progressive about the words, "grass roots". We do not believe in any sense Facebook via Zuckerberg was interested in restricting the PAC to immigration issues only. If you view the Facebook page it really appears as a progressive page singularly devoted to immigration reform. Now, what party is resisting immigration reform? Not the Democrats! Could the page come across to some as a liberal rag bent on allowing unrestricted Latinos across our southern borders? Heavens forbid,  that would be unacceptable and actually outside the body of knowledge and evidence that places Zuckerberg in the tank with other conservatives.

We see a bit of surreptitious activities from Facebooks conservative founder.

WIKI reports that Politico via a PAC prospectus published telling signs of efforts to move the PAC off-target, while reaching squarely into issues well outside the scope of immigration. The PAC appeared to move towards support of positions important to America's political Right. 

Political lobbying and ads (WIKI continues)

The lobbying firm Fierce, Isakowitz and Blalock reported that had paid it 30,000 USD in March 2013 (prior to the official launch of to lobby for immigration reform.[19] 
On April 23, 2013, Politico reported that had created a front group called "Americans for a Conservative Direction" that would air political ads in support of conservative Republican politicians who supported immigration policies similar to those desired by Video advertisements were already being aired in favor of pro-immigration conservative politicians Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio.[20][21][22][23] The Politico report also indicated that was planning to open another front group called "Council for American Job Growth" designed to appeal to people with progressive political sensibilities.[20] The pro-conservative advertisements met with considerable backlash from progressive friends and erstwhile supporters of Zuckerberg and the cause.[24][25][26] 
In May 2013, the New York Times called the ads a "sophisticated lobbying campaign being waged by technology companies and their executives."[27]

"Americans for a Conservative Direction"!!!  

Not only is all not well, things have gone awry. Facebook's founder and his cronies at Facebook appear to have stepped out of the shadows of suspicion by many Facebook users. We appear to have validation of growing support of conservative causes in Facebook's day-to-day operations.

Yesterday, The Hill reported on two major supporters of the PAC who have bailed. 

The Hill

Reports: Top executives leave Facebook CEO's political advocacy group

By Jennifer Martinez - 05/10/13 10:10 PM ET
Two top executives, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Yammer CEO David Sacks, have dropped out of the political advocacy group co-founded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg,, according to reports.

The departures come after Zuckerberg's advocacy group sparked an outcry from liberal and progressive groups this week for funding political TV ads that praised lawmakers for supporting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge., which was co-founded by other high-profile tech executives, had funded groups that were responsible for running the TV ads. The controversial ads sparked protests by a coalition of environmental and progressive groups, including, CREDO, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservative Voters. 
This week, the groups announced plans to pull their Facebook ads, or withhold purchasing new ones, for at least two weeks to protest the ads. 
The executives' departures were first reported by Reuters. 
Read more
Earlier in the week we ran a repost of a piece from the new webpage Ring of Fire Radio Com. Sara Papantonio published a piece on May 7th, about the ad campaign and a complete departure from Facebook's Zuckerberg's PAC Charter.  Ring Of Fire joined other progressive groups in calling for an advertising boycott of Facebook. 

The Ring Of Fire piece and activism is warranted if one cares about fair and balanced support to politicians,  political parties and national issues.  

Is there a reader here who can help us understand Zuckerberg's affinity for the Keystone XL Pipeline and drilling a national wildlife refuge? We can only surmise Zuckerberg is the archetypal young conservative with affinity for issues that seem to be at the forefront of conservatism and Republican members of Congress. 

As we often do, let's look to see how Facebook supports Democrats and Republicans.  



Facebook Inc to PACs/Parties, 2012

Select a Cycle: 
Contributors to this PAC  ↓Total  ↓
National Republican Congressional Cmte$190

No data found for this PAC in the 2012 cycle.
*Based on data released by the FEC on March 25, 2013
We are not able to find any contribution on this page directed towards similar democratic political organizations.

Facebook Inc Expenditures

Election cycle
SectorDescriptionTotal Expenditures
AdministrativeMiscellaneous Administrative$3,053
Campaign ExpensesMaterials$108
ContributionsCandidates (Fed & Non-federal)$174,500
Miscellaneous Contributions$95,500
Committees (Fed & Non-Federal)$1,632
FundraisingMiscellaneous Fundraising$2,880

Top Vendors/Recipients

RankVendor/RecipientTotal Expenditures
1Walden For Congress$5,000
1Nancy Pelosi For Congress$5,000
1Mary Bono Mack Cmte$5,000
1Friends Of Schumer$5,000
1Kevin Mccarthy For Congress$5,000
1Anna Eshoo for Congress$5,000
1Klobuchar For Minnesota 2012$5,000
1Friends Of John Boehner$5,000
1Feinstein For Senate$5,000
1Mcconnell Senate Cmte '14$5,000
1Wicker For Senate$5,000
1Bill Nelson For U S Senate$5,000
1Hoyer For Congress$5,000
1Mccaskill For Missouri 2012$5,000
1Hatch Election Cmte$5,000
1Cantor For Congress$5,000
1Texans For Senator John Cornyn$5,000
1Upton For All Of Us$5,000
NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2012 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data released electronically on Friday, February 15, 2013.
We find these contributions pretty much even between Republicans and Democrats.


Facebook Inc

ranks 497 of 21,011
$3,850,000 (2012)
$1,350,000 (2011)
ranks 135 of 4,370 in 2012
Total contributions to PACs, parties and outside spending groups: $262,575
Total contributions to candidates: $480,158
Top Candidate Recipients, 2011-2012
Barack Obama (D) $95,107
Mitt Romney (R) $20,100
Ted Cruz (R-TX) $15,000
Claire McCaskill (D-MO) $14,500
Anna Eshoo (D-CA) $11,000
The total of contributions to candidates from Facebook Inc PACs is 1 times larger than contributions from individuals

Contributions from Individuals

Contributions from PACs

LOBBYING: $3,850,000 (2012)


37 out of 38 Facebook Inc lobbyists in 2012 have previously held government jobs
See their employment history by clicking on their RevDoor icon here

The Open Secrets data indicates Facebook contributed to the Obama Campaign over four times as much as amounts contributed to the Romney Campaign.
Facebook contributions to Federal Candidates was fairly equal also.

Facebook contributions to political parties and candidates with an exception for contribution to Obama and contributions to the National Republican Congressional Cmte. 

The Open Secrets information makes for a good review of how Facebook distributes campaign contributions.  We remain in wonderment of contributions hidden in the darkness and secrecy of Citizens United.  Open Secrets data also does not include contributions from Zuckerberg nor is their a reporting of personal contribution from other executives at Facebook. You have to know that all top executives have minions and followers who contribute along with the boss.

Speculation is fun. Facts are telling.  We cannot find any rationale for (Zuckerberg's advocacy PAC) support for mainline GOP/conservative causes.  Even more intriguing is the support and ad development without some level of consultation with heavy hitters who contribute money, thier names and their reputations.

Is there a murky world in the Zuckerberg experience that clones shadiness we see in the GOP?  We can only hope more executives re-evaluate participation in a PAC that has proven an affinity for political causes beyond the original charter: immigration reform.

We at the TPI do not feel Zuckerberg can be trusted as balanced in his social views and his politics.  He appears squarely in the arena of a moderately far-right.

No comments :

Post a Comment