Why some dems dislike Reid Hoffman
Might, be here at recode centers on tech billionaires who they are, what drives them, and what exactly they spend their fortunes on. And these days one answer to that last question is politics. So I, try and chart the gusher of billionaire money flowing. Into American. Elections. Often in secret. Joining me on the show today here is my editor at recode, Sam, open hey sam hey teddy. So last week, we published a story from you about one of these billionaires read men, the founder of Lincoln Board member of Microsoft, a major democratic political donor. So I think this conversation is a chance for us to talk about why out of the many people in Silicon Valley could be covering why did we focus on hosman? He's not really a household name the way that Mark Zuckerberg are Jeff Bezos are let's talk about what makes him an interesting character in Silicon Valley. Yeah I mean he someone who? Has. A ton of. Money. But more. So is one of these people who sees himself as a quote unquote thought? Leader Right. He sort of coins terms that are used in startup land. He has a podcast which has tons of listeners and he's basically sort of cultivated this image as one of the good guys of silicon. Valley. And in the last four years, he's taken his billions of dollars net worth and decided that he wants to become the tip of the spear of Silicon, Valley's to oust trump and he's doing exactly that Nacho spending his own money but sort of serving as a port of call for all Silicon Valley so that's why we thought focused on Reid Hoffman. As a way to talk about the bigger story, which is the politicization and the new partisan ethos that has taken over tech over the last four years. One of the things that we talk about early in the story as we talk about his donor table and I think that gets at this idea that. He's Gathering his fellow billionaires to take action as well. So can you tell us a little bit more about the donor table and how it works and this big money machine? He's created for Democrat politics in. Silicon. Valley sure. So Hoffman is not just putting his own considerable net worth into this. A lot of the secret sauce of political fundraising that happens you know oftentimes in the dark at private meetings is the art of getting other rich people to do the same thing. As you to create leverage. This is someone who started linked in all about creating social networks to drive professional change and stuff like that. So Hoffman has basically created this donor table, which is a fancy way of saying a bunch of his rich friends getting together to fund the same stuff. So Hoffman has some political help and there are people who are other billionaires who maybe don't have fulltime political help who turned Hoffman they say, Hey, read what are you funding? Can I? Get Out essentially and read in turn will frequently challenge other Billionaires Ju to do the same thing. So sort of what this creates is this network of rich people were funding. The same nonprofits are the same super pacs or the same candidates behind the scenes and what the ends up creating is some organization really well funded others don't and no one really knows this donor table exists, but it's sort of is how big money politics works, which is you know without full Disclosure and accountability and transparency. But read is sort of the node of this new political network something I'd like us to talk a little bit more about is you know there are billionaires all over the country on both sides of the political aisle pouring money into the twenty twenty election and you know I think it's important to cover silicon valley in the billionaires here. Can you explain a little bit more why Silicon Valley is of particular note why are we focusing on? Tech Billionaires. People Reid. Hoffman when we cover politics and money in two thousand twenty. So at the core of read bins takeover of the Silicon Valley money machine is this tension that re dispensing millions of dollars to house trump and yet lots of Democrats hate him and the reason is Hoffman doesn't just want to fund the Democratic Party in the traditional ways he wants to fund Democratic Party in a very silicon valley way funding start-ups that might compete with the democratic establishment. Of State Democratic parties which are the backbone of the National Democratic infrastructure. Hoffman has basically declared a war on the Democratic Party establishment and that sort of has obviously made a lot of Democrats. uncomfortable. He's willing to fund things that push the envelope that some people have ethical concerns over. It's not as easy as well. Re Hoffman spending his fortune to hours trump. There's a lot of uneasiness about him and that makes them a fascinating character the fact that how? Democrats. Both accept his money with open arms and celebrate him. As you know a bore against what he sees a fascist threat at the same time, he's being very critical people who've made their entire careers about being a professional democratic political operative and a lot of ways. Obviously, this gets at a broader criticism of Silicon Valley, which is the respect expertise. They think they know everything I think a lot of Democrats feel that way about Silicon Valley in. But SORT MINNESOTA symbolize this bigger debate about whether any of these silicon valley people know what they're talking about when they enter a field that is not business.