Eight years after left-leaningtech managers and workers first threw their thrilled support to Obama, a new alliance has formed to maintain Donald Trump out of the White House.
Whitman, the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise who ran unsuccessfully for California governor 6 years ago, has for months been among the most outspoken valley titans sounding the alarm about a Trump presidency. Now last week’s official defection to Clinton could established the action for other high-profile valley Republicans to put their money and their mouths at the rear of a Democrat.
“I think what you’ve noticed is that Republicans are beginning to comprehend that when you step into the voter booth, there’s a difference in between holding your nose and choking to death,” said Tucker Bounds, Whitman’s communications director in the 2010 governor’s race.
Valley politics has always been comprised of a unique blend of libertarians, standard liberals and mostly minor Republicans. But this year — with minor and Republican era leaders like Whitman jumping on the stop-Trump bandwagon — Silicon Valley has united at the rear of Clinton more solidly than it has for any previous presidential candidate.
Thanks in part to relaxed campaign finance rules, Clinton is dominating the Silicon Valley money chase. Through June, she had raised more than $31 million from San Jose to San Francisco — far more than Obama’s haul in 2012 or 2008, according to the Crowdpac, a San Francisco firm that tunes political contributions and helps citizens participate in politics. Clinton will return to the Bay Area on Aug. 24 for a fundraiser hosted by Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Trump, meanwhile, raised less than $165,000 across Silicon Valley since jumping into the race more than a year ago.
The New York billionaire’s opposition to free trade and his calls to curtail lawful immigration made him a pariah in the Bay Area even before his behavior became increasingly erratic. His lone major era backer, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, still hasn’t donated to his campaign, according to campaign finance reports.
Raising money for Clinton could have been a task had the GOP nominated former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush or Sen. Marco Rubio, said Wade Randlett, a veteran valley fundraiser who caused on both Obama campaigns. But with Trump as the opponent, Randlett said, he’s had an easier time collecting checks for Clinton than for any other presidential candidate.