Why the Farmville Guy Got an Invitation to the White House

Why the Farmville Guy Got an Invitation to the White House

For some reason, the former CEO of the company that owns Farmville was invited to the White House to talk about Healthcare.gov. (By "some reason" I mean probably because he donated a ton of money to Democratic causes.)

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Original post by Nitasha Tiku on Valleywag

How Much Did It Cost Mark Pincus To Sit Next To President Obama?

How Much Did It Cost Mark Pincus To Sit Next To President Obama?

When the White House invite list for "top tech executives" got out yesterday, a few names stood out for the wrong reason. What would former Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, who stepped down in July after layoffs, a stock price free fall, shuttered games and a exodus of executives add to a discussion Healthcare.gov and NSA surveillance?

OpenSecrets suspects his invitation was based less on merit and more on money:

One thing that sets [Pincus] apart: He donated $1 million to Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that backed Obama in the election. He also gave an additional $104,000 to Democratic causes in 2012 — including the maximum of $30,800 to the Democratic National Committee.

He also got to sit next to Obama.

Two of the other head-scratchers on the list—Marissa Mayer and Uber investor Shervin Pishevar—both happened to be bundlers for President Obama, adds OpenSecrets:

Along with his wife, Anahita, Pishevar has donated more than $122,000 to Democrats, including Obama's presidential campaign and the campaign of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.). More significantly, Pishevar is a bundler — one of the elite fundraisers who "bundled" campaign contributions for Obama's presidential campaign.

According to OpenSecrets.org data, in the 2012 campaign, Pishevar was a top-tier harvester of cash, gathering up at least $500,000 for the Obama campaign.

Bundling scads of funding behind-the-scenes can bump up your stature? Actually that sounds just like Silicon Valley.

To contact the author of this post, please email nitasha@gawker.com.

[Image via AP]

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