Business, Economics and Jobs

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg joining tech industry executives to start lobby group

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is joining other tech industry executives to start an organization to lobby Washington.

Zuckerberg is reportedly taking a lead role in a Silicon Valley SuperPAC organized by his former college roommate, Joe Green.

Sources told The San Francisco Chronicle that the group would focus on education and immigration reform, two issues that are crucial to Silicon Valley.

The Telegraph wrote that technology firms like Facebook have complained that America's strict migration controls prevent them from recruiting talented foreigners and overseas graduates.

Politico cited sources as saying that Zuckerberg and other tech executives had enlisted the help of Democratic and Republican strategists to advocate long-term economic issues.

The source said:

"Leaders are coming together on a broader agenda. It's not necessarily company driven."

Zuckerberg and 99 other chief executives wrote to President Barack Obama and Congress this month saying:

"Many high-skilled immigrants who want to stay in America are forced to leave because they are unable to obtain permanent visas. Some do not bother to come in the first place."

The group was likely going to be a nonprofit, the source said.

The Chronicle wrote that the group was consulting with Republican strategist Jon Lerner, who founded Maryland-based Red Sea LLC and who is behind the conservative Club for Growth, and ultra-conservative GOP consultant Rob Jesmer.

Lerner famously described liberals as a "latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading" freak show.

Zuckerberg, who famously donated $100 million to the state school system in his native New Jersey, recently "raised eyebrows" by hosting Republican Gov. Chris Christie at his Palo Alto, Calif., home for a fundraiser while protesters stood outside.

However, in terms of campaign contributions Zuckerberg appears to have made only two donations of $5,000 each to Facebook’s political action committee, according to Open Secrets.