Google Inc. is keeping pace with Goldman Sachs in terms of 2014 campaign donations. Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg is bankrolling Republican stalwart Sen. Orrin Hatch. GOP political operatives are scouting tech talent on the Peninsula.
No, it’s not a bizarre alternate-reality Silicon Valley devoid of tech isolationism and liberal-leaning libertarianism. Rather, the 2014 congressional election season has ushered in a new era in how the tech industry tries to win business advantages on Capitol Hill.
“Tech companies now are very much like Procter & Gamble or GE or Bank of America,” said San Jose State University political science professor Larry Gerston. “It’s just that the technology sector has come to the party most recently — that’s what makes it so interesting.”
The next questions: Can Silicon Valley actually hold its own as a special interest group vying for the attention of lawmakers against Wall Street, real estate tycoons and energy companies? And will tech turn a shade of Republican red as it places bets on the incoming Congress to get its way on issues like immigration and tax reform?