Two dozen senior leaders have handed out 1,700 contributions to political committees. More than 1,000 of those outlays, totaling $620,000, went to Facebook’s political-action committee. The company PAC has, in turn, donated $2.7 million to various candidates and committees—including many that help elect the lawmakers overseeing the company.
For example, 11 of the 12 senators on the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security have received a total of $190,000 from Facebook’s PAC. That committee called a Facebook executive to testify last week. And this Tuesday, a whistleblower, who formerly served on the company’s civic misinformation team, will appear before the committee.
The donations go beyond that panel, though. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has received more money from Facebook’s top executives than any other senator, some $37,000. Fifty-two other Senate campaigns received $298,000 in total. House members raised $600,000 from Facebook’s top brass. Of that haul, $37,000, went to Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s campaign.
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CEO Mark Zuckerberg isn’t spending much of his $116 billion fortune on campaign donations. The world’s fifth-richest person has given just $91,000 to political committees over his life. Recipients include Pelosi and a Republican predecessor, John Boehner ($2,600 each), and the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee ($10,000).
Zuckerberg’s top lieutenant, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, has been far more active, donating $2 million, more than any other top executive at the company. In 2016, she gave $416,000 to a committee supporting Hillary Clinton, the largest single donation from a Facebook leader. Sandberg also contributed $405,000 to the PAC for Emily’s List, which backs pro-choice Democrats.
Joel Kaplan, the company’s vice president of global public policy, does not count as one of the firm’s top 24 leaders, but he is a big donor. Since joining Facebook in 2011, Kaplan, a former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, has given $373,000, mostly to Congressional Republicans.
Those appearing before Congress these days have been far more modest in their giving. Antigone Davis, Facebook’s global head of safety, testified last week. Her only donation was a $2,700 gift to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower who will appear before the Senate panel on Tuesday, has donated about $2,000—almost all to the Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue.