Side Note

Facebook donates a shit-ton of money to Republicans

Over half of the tech giant’s largest political contributions have gone to the GOP.

Yesterday, there was a brief internet kerfuffle when it was revealed that Elon Musk donated nearly $40,000 to the Protect the House PAC, a Republican organization meant to keep Republican butts in Congressional seats come this fall’s midterm elections. While Musk defended himself on Twitter by pointing out that he donates much more than $40,000 to the Sierra Club and claiming the purpose of the donation was to maintain “open dialogue,” it doesn’t seem unreasonable to point out that Musk has an economic incentive to cozy up to the G.O.P. — after all, the Republican party would much rather outsource the work of NASA to private space companies, and, well, Elon Musk owns a private space company.

But to focus solely on Musk’s political contributions is to ignore the greater reality of the situation, which is that no matter how you slice it, tech companies are businesses, and Republican politicians are unashamedly pro-business (unlike Democratic politicians, who are more prone to being ashamedly pro-business). It goes to reason, then, that lots of people in tech, not just Elon Musk, are probably donating to Republicans.

Take, oh, say... Facebook.

Below, you can see a list of contributions above $5,000 given by Facebook Inc.’s Political Action Committee during this current election cycle. While Facebook’s largest donation was $25,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee as well as another $10,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, it gave $10,000 each to those committees’ analogues on the Republican side of the aisle.

Facebook’s PAC also donated money to Republican-affiliated Political Action Committees such as Alamo PAC, Heartland Values PAC, Project West, and The Internet Association (which, to be fair, only made 71% of its contributions to Republican politicians). The company has also focused on specific Republican politicians, such as Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Congressman Kevin McCarthy of California, and perhaps most gallingly, Congressman Devin Nunes of California, who is perhaps Donald Trump’s most ardent (and effective) ally in the House of Representatives. Of the 19 recipients shown here, nine are Democrats or Democrat-affiliated PAC’s, nine are Republicans or Republican-affiliated PAC’s, and one is The Internet Association, which primarily donates to Republicans.

So, there you have it. Elon Musk donates to Republicans, Facebook donates to Republicans. This doesn’t excuse Musk, however. If anything, it should deepen the growing sense that Silicon Valley is concerned first and foremost with its continued survival and success, and doesn’t give an iota of a damn about much else.