Long known for wielding “soft” power in Washington, D.C. and influencing American politics through the use of its online platform, Facebook now wants to drive the political process with an infusion of cold, hard cash.
Hillicon Valley broke the news yesterday that Facebook had begun the process of forming its own political action committee. The social networking company has purchased two domain names, FBpac.org and FBpac.us.
A Facebook spokesman confirmed the PAC’s existence, saying “FB PAC will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”
The company filed the paperwork for incorporation yesterday in the District of Columbia. Federal law requires Facebook PAC to register with the Federal Elections Commission upon its formation.
The creation of the PAC comes hot on the heels of COO Sheryl Sandberg’s exclusive fundraising dinner hosting President Obama, a $35,800-per-head affair (the maximum legal donation) attended by Lady Gaga. There has also been a growing series of Facebook-related public policy events.
Long past the days where a single company representative labored out of his apartment in Washington, D.C., Facebook’s presence in the nation’s capital is now upgraded to the level of technology political players Microsoft and Google.
In the last election cycle, the computer industry as a whole contributed nearly $25.4 million dollars to candidates. Sixty percent of the recipients were Democrats, claiming 62 percent of the funding. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that of the overall dollars, $6.35 million came from PACs.