Local Tech Execs Open Wallets for Obama
Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is tapping into a new and lucrative fundraising source: Washington's tech community.
About 200 of the area's most prominent names from the telecommunications and media worlds attended a private fundraiser for Obama last Thursday at the Chevy Chase, Md., home of Reed Hundt, former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. He's now on the board of directors at Intel Corp. and serves as an advisor to The Blackstone Group.
Also on the guest list were XM Radio CEO Hugh Panero, Radio One CEO Alfred Liggins, Level 3 Communications Vice President Don Gips, and former AOL Vice President Jim Bankoff.
Partners from powerhouse private equity firms such as Carlyle and Benchmark Capital were also spotted, or so I'm told by people who were there. We didn't make it to the event--invitation must've been lost in the mail--but we heard it raised about $600,000 for Obama's campaign.
That's not quite as much as he collected at other high-profile fundraising events, like the star-studded Geffen fundraiser held last month in Beverly Hills, where Obama snagged about $1.3 million from a large cast of celebrities.
But the Washington event signals that Obama is turning to people who aren't typically super-involved in the political process, some of his local supporters said. Members of the local tech community, while relative newcomers to politics, hold vasts amount of wealth and influence that presidential candidates are bound to try to utilize. Obama has said that he's interested in getting to know technology companies on both coasts; he sees technology as a solution for many issues he wants to tackle, including health care and education.
Another aspect worth noting: Several telecom regulators from the Clinton administration co-hosted the fundraiser, apparently throwing their weight behind Obama rather than the former president's wife who is also up for the job.
Bill Kennard, who served as FCC chairman under Clinton, was listed as a primary host of the event, according to the invitation. He's now managing director in Carlyle's global telecom and media group.
Julius Genachowski, who was chief counsel to the FCC during the Clinton Era before becoming executive vice president of tech company IAC/InterActiveCorp., went to law school with Obama and was also a host.
According to the invitation, everyone paid $2,300 to attend.
Get This Widget >>
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: ObamaForTechnology.com | March 20, 2007 11:01 AM
The comments to this entry are closed.