The heart of tech

This article was published on October 7, 2010


    Politicians flock to the Valley with dollar signs in their eyes

    Politicians flock to the Valley with dollar signs in their eyes
    Alex Wilhelm
    Story by

    Alex Wilhelm

    Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

    It is the time of the year, and point in the election cycle, when politicians are desperate for hard, cold, technology company cash. Yes, US politicians are flocking to the Valley with hands out.

    A recent Politico report has pointed out that many of the DC political elite are beating a worn path in the air over to the West Coast to meet and greet with companies like Facebook, Google, and Intel.

    Politicians from both sides of the aisle are making the pilgrimage in search of donations. In the last week some 6 Democratic senators trekked to Silicon Mecca. They followed several GOP heavyweight visitors such as McConnell and Boehner.

    Many political action committees organized by various Silicon Valley companies have been dispensing cash to their favorite candidates, and it seems especially to those who visit and offer and ear to bend. There has been some pushback, however:

    But tech bellwethers sometimes don’t take kindly to lawmakers who treat the valley as an endless ATM. “All too often, people see Silicon Valley as the wallet and set aside the words or wisdom that [it] can provide,” said Carl Guardino, president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

    Whatever the cost, access has a price and our favorite technology companies are not immune to the lobbying bug. So long as there is money waiting to be donated, there will be airborne politicians looking to pick up the nickels.