March 28, 2013
News that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly in the process of co-organizing a political advocacy group made up of top leaders in technology is expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The group would push for federal legislation on issues like immigration and education, according to sources familiar with the matter. Zuckerberg plans to raise $50 million to launch the group with his former Harvard roommate Joe Green.
“The group plans to register as a 501(c)(4), a distinction reserved for social welfare groups that are not organized for profit, said a person familiar with the discussions,” reports the Wall Street Journal.
The group has reportedly secured consultants including Rob Jesmer, former executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Joe Lockhart, Facebook’s former VP of global communications and a former press secretary under President Bill Clinton’s administration, along with Jon Lerner, a Republican strategist.
Zuckerberg and others at Facebook and in other Silicon Valley companies have expressed increasing interest in politics, notes WSJ.
“Immigration has been a particularly popular issue among the digerati, with tech executives lobbying lawmakers to ease restrictions on visas to entrepreneurs and professionals,” explains the article. “Many have endorsed the Startup Act 2.0 bill, which proposes creating a new visa for foreign-born entrepreneurs who manage to raise $100,000 and hire American workers.”