It's election day in America—the political equivalent of a tech IPO. And this election, Silicon Valley's tycoons donated heavily across a variety of candidates, partisan PACs, and ballot measures.
While wealthy donors try to figure out which donations got the best return on investment, let's look at the tech leaders with the most skin in the game:
- Sean Parker: The former Facebook executive and noted Redwood forest destroyer has been prominently funding campaigns across the country. He's donated $1 million to California's propositions 1 and 2, another $50,000 to Gov. Jerry Brown, and at least $77,600 to other state-wide candidates. He's also spent $299,000 on local races in San Francisco, including supporting an automobile-rights initiative and an increase of the minimum wage. On top of that, Forbes reports Parker has spent $1.46 million on federal races, including backing multiple Republican candidates. All this activity left the SF Weekly declaring Parker "a top California political power player." Total: at least $2,886,600 in donations.
- Marc Benioff: The CEO of Salesforce has been spreading his bets across multiple political parties this election. National Journal reports Benioff has donated tens of thousands to both the Democratic and Republican congressional campaign committees. All told, the Journal says Benioff has donated $687,800.
- John Doerr: The famed Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers venture capitalist finds himself in the same camp as Parker—heavily focusing on California races. He donated $875,000 alone to Props 1 and 2. He's also shelled out at least $800,000 on national races according to Open Secrets, including maximum contributions to Democratic senators Mark Udall and Chris Coons. Total: more than $1,675,000.
- Cari Tuna: The former Wall Street Journal reporter, who is now married to billionaire Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, has begun donating in state elections. Forbes reports she chipped in $150,000 to support California's Prop 47, which will reduce sentencing mandates on drug and theft crimes. Open Secrets also reports she donated $2,600 to Sean Eldridge's congressional campaign. Eldridge, like Tuna, is married to a Facebook co-founder.
- Reed Hastings: Like many others in this list, Netflix's CEO has spent $250,000 backing California's Props 1 and 2. He also donated $100,000 to a PAC dedicated to helping Democrats retain the senate. However, he made no donations to individual candidates this year. Total: $350,000.
- Eric Schmidt: The Google Chairman spent $527,214 on federal races alone this election cycle, the National Journal reports. He donated a quarter million to the same pro-Democrat PAC that Hastings donated to. He also spent thousands more on individual senate candidates, including backing Mitch McConnell's re-election campaign.
- Ron Conway: San Francisco's boogyman and prominent angel investor has been spending wide and far this election. Federally, Conway has dropped $1.094 million on various races, according to Open Secrets. Despite having been a Republican until 2011, Conway donated to a litany of Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, Cory Booker, and Mark Udall. But keeping to his roots, he's also backed prominent Republicans like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio. Back home in San Francisco, Conway and his wife donated to $447,900 to local ballot initiates and races. Most significantly, they donated a combined $223,900 to a smear campaign that rewarded a city supervisor that passed a law in Airbnb's favor. Total: at least $1,541,900.
The nice thing about being a billionaire is that even if your candidate loses, you still win.