U.S. presidential candidate Romney gains toehold in Silicon Valley fundraising

“Presidential candidate Barack Obama, his Blackberry always close at hand, was the darling of the technology world and it rewarded him with generous donations to his 2008 campaign,” Eric Johnson, Alexander Cohen and Alina Selyukh report for Reuters.

MacDailyNews Take: That POS BlackBerry was antiquated back then while also being a product from a non-U.S. company. Apple’s iPhone debuted in 2007. We’ve long been critical of Obama for using an inferior, foreign-made product vs. an Apple iPhone. Logically, the U.S. President should be supporting U.S. companies while also keeping his information off servers located in foreign countries.

“Although he is still raising far more money there than current Republican rival Mitt Romney, Obama in 2012 is finding Silicon Valley to be tougher terrain,” Johnson, Cohen and Selyukh report. “He lags behind his 2008 campaign in donations from workers at Internet, computer and telecom equipment powerhouses such as Google, IBM, Hewlett Packard, and Cisco, according to a Reuters analysis of federal disclosures from the Obama presidential campaign committee. The Obama campaign has raised $1.44 million through May from employees of 15 top tech companies, as compared to $1.6 million donated by the same companies’ staff four years ago.”

MacDailyNews Take: For clarity, that’s $160,000 off, or 11%, which, depending on your point of view is either not very or very significant. Either way, Obama could throw another $5,000 per plate dinner and that deficit would turn into a surplus in one evening.

“Romney, a former private equity executive, is making inroads to a key source of cash for Obama, who some tech leaders view as anti-business because of uncertainty that they blame on the Dodd-Frank financial regulation reform and the healthcare overhaul. Both laws were pushed by the Obama administration and enacted in 2010,” Johnson, Cohen and Selyukh report. “Romney has raised almost $340,000 during this election campaign from the 15 tech companies’ employees, far behind his opponent but already ahead of the roughly $240,000 that Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked up through May 2008.”

MacDailyNews Take: For clarity, that’s a 41.7% increase over the McCain campaign for Romney.

“Obama’s message in the wake of the economic crisis has antagonized some on Wall Street and in Silicon Valley. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs told Obama he would not win a second term without being more business friendly, according to Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson,” Johnson, Cohen and Selyukh report. “And Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen has switched to Romney after backing Obama last time. ‘In 2008, the Obama administration looked like the best game in town,’ said tech sector analyst Roger L. Kay. ‘Fast forward a few more years and you see a lot of disappointment.'”

After years of sluggish economic growth and persistent unemployment, Romney has swooped in with a simple prescription to keep the tech sector humming: deregulation, lower taxes, and bolder piracy protection from China,” Johnson, Cohen and Selyukh report. “‘Romney can talk the technology game better than Obama can. Romney was a (venture capitalist),’ said John Backus, a venture capitalist who worked for Romney at private equity firm Bain Capital. ‘I don’t think Romney wins the Valley, but he is going to increase his share of the donation pie substantially.’ While the numbers are small, Romney did slip past his rival among one group that is vital to the tech world. He has raised $392,300 through April from venture capitalists, some $20,000 more than Obama, according to federal disclosures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Obama has attracted roughly $3 million from the computer and Internet industry so far this campaign, leaving Romney trailing with just under $1 million collected in the same period, according to CRP. The figures do not include donations from the telecommunications industry.”

Johnson, Cohen and Selyukh report, “All the same, Obama supporters in Silicon Valley and big-dollar Obama fundraisers say his campaign and the White House are worried the Romney campaign will be able to narrow the cash lead in the tech sector. The campaign formed an inner circle of the technology sector elite – called ‘Tech for Obama’ or T4O – to provide ‘significant financial support’ and deeper access to the tech community, according to sources involved and marketing materials. Its roughly 50 core members include Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, LinkedIn co-founder Rusty Rueff, Yelp co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman and Stephen Pagliuca, a managing director at Bain Capital.”

“On [May 18, 2012], paying $5,000, some members gathered for dinner with Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Obama’s campaign manager Jim Messina,” Johnson, Cohen and Selyukh report. “T4O hopes to strike a tone that is starkly different than Romney’s laissez-faire message, stressing the necessity of a partnership between the public and private sectors, higher federal spending on education and research and – in contrast to Romney’s proposed crackdown on China – a more nuanced approach to allegations that Beijing is involved in the sophisticated theft of U.S. intellectual property.”

Johnson, Cohen and Selyukh report, “Romney, for his part, has an informal ‘innovation coalition’ that handles outreach to the tech world and policy formation. The Republican’s business background, which McCain lacked, has helped him on Wall Street as well as in Silicon Valley and other tech enclaves like northern Virginia. ‘People creating jobs in Silicon Valley are very entrepreneurial, very much geared to be capitalists, and the current administration, frankly, is more of the socialist bent,’ said Daniel Dumezich, a Chicago-based tax attorney and major Romney fundraiser… Romney is critical of what he views as the administration’s anti-business maneuvers, such as lawsuits launched by the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission against Apple and Google, respectively.”

“The White House can side-step gridlock in congress to give the tech sector more of what it wants, such as harnessing new technologies to make better use of government-held radio spectrum and relieve congestion, a recommendation made in a report by the president’s panel on science and technology,” Johnson, Cohen and Selyukh report. “That report was partly authored by T4O members and $35,800 donors to the Obama Victory Fund: Google’s Schmidt and Microsoft’s chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie.”

Read more details in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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41 Comments

  1. Obama and Eric T. Schmidt (sleazy mole) – two peas in a pod.

    No wonder Google gets off with slaps on the wrist from the U.S. government.

    The Obama campaign hopes to offer – in contrast to Romney’s proposed crackdown on China – a more nuanced approach to allegations that Beijing is involved in the sophisticated theft of U.S. intellectual property.

    “More nuanced” = More bowing and reading of empty platitudes off a teleprompter from the empty suit. No thanks.

    1. Tech firms are just making sure they will have access to whoever wins.

      This may be a bit old for some of you kiddies, but a lesson from history:

      1972, when Nixon was running for re-election, he got in all kinds of trouble when it was revealed that he took questionable donations from the dairy lobby that became to be known as the “Milk Fund”. The press hated Nixon so they played it up. What didn’t get so much coverage was that McGovern, Nixon’s opponent, got exactly the same contribution from the group.

      Whoever won, the dairy lobby wanted them to be in their pocket.

      And in the end, that’s what Washington is all about.

    1. Are you really that stupid?

      Or do you just not want to be reminded that Obama is a dismal failure who’s going to lose in a landslide?

      Here’s one likely reason for the article, besides that it mentions Apple Inc., Bain Capital, BlackBerry, Cisco, Craig Mundie, Eric Schmidt, Google, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Jeremy Stoppelman, LinkedIn, Marc Andreessen, Marc Benioff, RIM, Rusty Rueff, Salesforce, Silicon valley, Stephen Pagliuca, Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs biography, venture capitalists, Walter Isaacson, and Yelp: “Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.”

      1. Polling shows Obama ahead in every demographic excepting old white men. Seriously.
        I am no fan of Obamanation, but do not desire to see a pandering President with Magic Underwear in my lifetime.

        1. The demographic that Mittens is leading in is technically called “white, male bigots”. He is also doing well in the group that likes to vote against their own self-interests.

          1. The above is right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals (Obama Playbook 2012):

            RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

            RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

            RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

      2. Keep dreaming and thanks for lowering yourself by attacking me rather than actually saying anything. If I follow your way of thinking MDN should be posting any article that references Apple whatsoever. I can’t wait to start wading through all those pro Android articles ripping Apple all day. This article is nothing more than a quick hit piece on Obama and a way to promote Romney, nothing more. You may in fact be correct that Romney wins this year and it that is the case I hope that you and all your like get EXACTLY what he’s selling – good luck with that.

          1. Coming from the guy who goes by ‘First 2010, Then 2012’, that is nothing short of hilarious.

            Since when did MDN become your playground to push your obvious political agenda or right leanings?

        1. The above is right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals (Obama Playbook 2012):

          RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

          RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

          RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

    2. If you don’t like an article, don’t read it, much less post an insipid comment below it. Another one will be along soon enough – MDN rolls like a river.

      1. First this is one of many articles posted here of a political nature that have no business on this site. This is nothing more than a hit piece to promote this type of political BS discussion among people who have no idea what their talking about (like the nice girl above who feels an adequate response is to call me stupid – classy). Anyone who thinks this has anything to do with Apple when it’s really just promoting Romney is dreaming.

          1. Since when did I say the article promotes Romney? My point is this is a rather obvious post for MDN to again promote Romney and allow right wing folks like yourself a forum to get all angry at people like me……as you normally do. All of this of course while pretending the rest of us outside the asylum are somehow not intelligent enough to know any better. From the perspective of someone in the great white north, all of you south of the border could do with a little more self sacrifice and a whole lot less of the every man for himself attitude.

            1. Once again, the obvious: Socialism doesn’t work. Here’s the proof:

              Study: Obama Increased Welfare Spending 41%; Poverty Rate Unchanged from LBJ: More Than Half a Trillion Dollars Spent on Welfare – But Poverty Levels Unaffected

              Since President Obama took office [in January 2009], federal welfare spending has increased by 41 percent, more than $193 billion per year. Federal welfare spending in fiscal year 2011 totaled $668 billion, spread out over 126 programs, while the poverty rate that remains high at 15.1 percent, roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared a federal War on Poverty.

              The study faults the way poverty programs are designed, saying that the increase in spending and largely unchanged poverty rate showed that the issue is not a matter of money, but a matter of what the programs aim to achieve.

              “The vast majority of current programs are focused on making poverty more comfortable – giv­ing poor people more food, better shelter, health care, and so forth – rather than giving people the tools that will help them escape poverty.”

              Instead, the study recommends refocusing anti-poverty efforts on keeping people in school, discouraging out-of-wedlock births, and encouraging people to get a job – even if that job is a low-wage one.

              “It would make sense therefore to shift our anti-poverty efforts from government programs that simply provide money or goods and services to those who are living in poverty to efforts to create the condi­tions and incentives that will make it eas­ier for people to escape poverty.

              Now, I care very much about really helping the poor, unlike some Dems and some Canadians who seem to think that “programs” that accomplish nothing but keep the poor around forever are some sort of “solution.” Generation after generation. Guaranteed votes for their Democrat masters, of course. Some solution that is.

              I keep waiting for the majority of U.S. African Americans to wake up. Slavery by another name (government dependency) is still slavery.

              The more people doing well on their own, the better.

              I’d be very happy to put my taxes to work for real progress for a change, not just keeping the disadvantaged and their offspring treading water and checking the mailbox for the subsistence living check/foodstamps forever.

              That’s right, I want hope and change and progress, but real hope and change and progress, not an empty campaign slogan devised for an empty suit spouting a tired ideology that’s a proven failure everywhere it’s been tried.

            2. This goes right to my point in my last post about actually wanting to have a share in things rather than every man for himself. Despite your saying you support the former your comments would tend towards the latter. I’m also not sure what planet you think social programs have not been implemented, are working and will continue to do so. Socialism does not work from your narrow view of looking at it in terms of what little there is of it in the US, try comparing to other programs in other countries. By the way i would not consider any of what Obama and company have done, for the most part, to be socialism in any strong or meaningful way. Obamacare might as well be called Republicare for all the Republican policies it follows and would be a success if GWB had implemented rather than Obama. I like the discussion but it would be better with less name calling like ’empty suit’ or comments like “I keep waiting for the majority of U.S. African Americans to wake up. Slavery by another name (government dependency) is still slavery.”. While i don’t know you, I respect your opinions but try to keep race out of it unless you really do want to create some racial or class warfare in that great democracy of yours. Remember it was supposed to the shining city on the hill for all not just those with dollar bills shining in their eyes.

    3. Let’s be fair,

      Mac Daily News is a Public offered web site that is run by a private individual and or individuals, Now it relies on advertisement and other financial sources just like other sites, including reader numbers (clicks) to support It.

      Choice and freedom to choose is a powerfull tool, use it if something makes you uncomfortable.

      Some Options include:
      .Don’t read the political Rants.
      .Express personal feelings in a post on this site.
      .Read headlines and skip ones that don’t interest you Personaly.
      .Don’t return to the site.

      I like MDN, and it’s only fair to point out that if I personally exercise my freedom of choice not to read or be interested in a story, then by all means they also have a right to post anything they wish exercising what feels as important to them and/or whomever as a represenitive of the site as a whole sees fit.

      Isn’t that what freedom and choice as an individual is all about!

  2. Escessive deregulation was at the root of the savings and loan crisis in the 80’s and early 90’s . Deregulation of the banking and insurance industry pricked the housing bubble and tormented the current global economic crisis. Republicans have been singing the same song since Regan the showman. If you think Romney is gonna crack down on China…hah!!! How’s he gonna do that when they own us more likely hell send more of our jobs over there and leave this country in worse economic shape which make it easier for people like him and in his bracket to clean up. If Romney wins he will do nothing to rebuild the middle class.

    1. You are correct, sir! Am I the only person who is cynical of a process that seems to equate the size of the political warchest with political success. Regardless of your political stripe, isn’t this a tragic and sad comment. $=votes.

        1. It’s too bad that one of W’s decision points wasn’t demolishing the Clinton administration’s policy that caused the horrific housing crisis and the subsequent economic fallout that we continue to languish under to this day.

          Likely Bush was averse to being labeled a “racist” by knee-jerk Libs and those who make their profit by keeping their own people slaves to government subsistence living (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, etc.)

            1. The above is right out of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals (Obama Playbook 2012):

              RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

              RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

              RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

      1. True…..I won’t see this on ABC, etc. The reason is that stuff happening in 1994 did not cause banksters to go nuts on credit default swaps and sliced up mortgages.

  3. Couldn’t all this cash be better spent making direct contributions to worthy causes, like homeless shelters, capital building projects for cash strapped school systems, and renovation of historic sites. Granted, it probably would all be in California, but better than that devoting so much money to paying for advertising, fuel for political travel, and other campaign expenses. Anybody else tired of 3-year-long election campaigns?

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