National Journal took at look at campaign donations this cycle and details what it describes as ” some of the most influential political donors in tech this cycle” here.
At the same time, with so many options available to inject money into political campaigns with your fingerprints, let alone own name on it, any analysis is likely to be inconclusive.
Certainly most geeks who follow politics are aware that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is a player. Yet, he didn’t even make this list.
That said, this list is a good jumping-off point if you want a rough picture of the tech donor class, circa 2014. Some names may be very familiar to you; others less so. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg didn’t even make the cut, having donated a paltry $38,600 of his own funds to political causes in the 2014 cycle.
Now, if only geeks and nerds weren’t so terminally liberal.
Overall, the list shows that the tech donor class remains largely Democratic. Nearly half of the $23.6 million donated by the tech industry during the midterms has benefited Democrats. It’s difficult to say exactly how partisan the industry is, however, since $4.2 million is not classified by party.
National Journal also provides what it calls an “annotated list of donors,” a small portion of which is below.
Marc Benioff: CEO of Salesforce.com, which Forbes calls a “cloud computing king.” His net worth is estimated at $3.3 billion. He’s not just generous with political causes, though. “The self-made billionaire and his wife, Lynne, have donated $250 million to local children’s hospitals and $4 million to address homelessness since 2010,” Forbes reports. Curiously, Benioff donated $15,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this cycle, along with $25,900 to the National Republican Congressional Committee. He also donated $32,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this cycle.
Eric Schmidt: He is the chief executive of Google–do you really need to know more? The $527,214 he donated to political causes in 2014 set him back all of 0.006 percent of his estimated net worth. He donated $250,000 alone to the Democratic Senate Majority PAC. His direct donations to candidates run the gamut–from Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, to Republican House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Phillip Ragon: Ragon founded InterSystems in 1978 “and built it into a $463 million company, selling databases and other software tools,” Forbes reports. Among InterSystems’ clients are GE, Siemens, and Epic Systems, a successful health care software firm. During this cycle, he shelled out $32,400 to the DCCC and a combined $64,800 to the DSCC.