Political contributions from employees at some of the nation’s largest technology companies to Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign soared last month – offering a snapshot of the way in which big tech is increasingly supporting his bid to oust President Donald Trump.
Biden’s campaign collected more than $1.5 million last month from employees of Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple and their technology-focused subsidiaries – more than triple the roughly $450,000 that flowed from the firm’s employees to his main campaign account in July, a CNN analysis of newly filed campaign reports shows.
The sharp increase came as Biden formally accepted his party’s nomination during the Democratic National Convention and picked California Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential nominee. Harris, a former San Francisco district attorney and state attorney general, has long-standing ties to some key Silicon Valley executives.
Biden and aligned Democratic party committees raised a record-breaking $364.5 million in August and started September – and the final sprint to Election Day – with a $141 million cash advantage over Trump and the Republican Party.
That marked a dramatic reversal in the financial fortunes of Biden who struggled to raise money during the primaries.
In Silicon Valley, the flow of cash to Biden reflects both deep distaste for Trump and his harsh rhetoric about immigrants, along with the tech industry’s familiarity with his running mate, said Cooper Teboe, a Democratic strategist who specializes in political fundraising in the tech world.
“The folks here have known and have trusted Sen. Harris for so long that as soon as she was on the ticket, it was kind of ‘game on,’ ” said Teboe, who raises money for a pro-Biden super PAC, Unite the Country, and state Democratic Party committees in Arizona and Wisconsin.
“I’ve never received more phone calls in my career from people asking about the best places to give than when Sen. Harris was added to the ticket,” he said.
Biden has leveled criticism at big tech during the campaign, slamming Facebook for its handling of political misinformation and urging the repeal of a key liability shield for the industry. As California attorney general, Harris pressed tech companies on privacy matters and reached a deal with the industry that allowed consumers to review the privacy policies of apps before they download them.