Former Facebook president Sean Parker is making a “new push into politics,” Politico reported on Monday. And that push will reportedly involve giving money to both parties this year, including big donations to Republicans.
Parker has made millions of dollars in political contributions in recent years, but until now he has given almost exclusively to Democrats. Politico has a list of the highlights. Parker gave to President Obama’s campaign in 2012. He gave over a million dollars to the Mark Zuckerberg-backed immigration reform group FWD.us. He gave a quarter-million to the gun control group founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D). He was Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s (D) single biggest donor last year. Cory Booker, Jerry Brown, Rahm Emanuel — the list of Democrats is long.
The lone Republican to receive a disclosed donation from Parker thus far: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who got $10,200 from Parker last year when he was fighting for an immigration reform compromise in the Senate.
That ratio could change. According to Politico, Parker has spoken to politicians of all stripes in recent months, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is currently running as a Democrat. In December, Parker traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with Republican officeholders and strategists. Parker reportedly plans to commit large amounts of money to Republicans he sees as deal-makers in Congress.
As part of this push, Parker has also been hiring political advisers. Among them is Chris Garland, former chief of staff to California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). According to Politico, Parker’s policy goals “reman broadly defined.” He cares about immigration reform, urban development, and medical research. But his “main agenda is sort of making democracy more modern, less corrupt,” Ben Horowitz, the prominent Silicon Valley investor, told Politico.
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