- Sen. Kamala Harris will likely be an ally to Silicon Valley inside a potential Biden administration for Silicon Valley, insiders say.
- Harris is unlikely to become an anti-tech crusader if she becomes vice president, said Bradley Tusk, a venture capitalist and former Democratic operative.
- Biden’s decision to select Harris as his running mate comes after a report Monday showed that the Biden’s campaign welcomed tech operatives as staff members.
Sen. Kamala Harris is poised to become a welcome friend to the big tech industry if she and former Vice President Joe Biden win the White House in November, Silicon Valley insiders argue.
The California Democrat has deep ties to the tech industry and will almost certainly be friendly to the likes of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other tech titans, according to Bradley Tusk, a venture capitalist who invests in startups in the tech industry. Biden selected Harris as his running mate Tuesday as he prepares for what will likely be a bruising general election.
“Ultimately I have to guess she will be a quiet ally for them behind the scenes,” Tusk, a former Democratic operative who worked as a communications director for New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, told The Washington Post Wednesday. (RELATED: FLASHBACK: Sen Kamala Harris Supported Eliminating Senate Filibuster To Pass Green New Deal)
“Overall, you don’t get the sense that in her heart of hearts she’s a crusader to break up big companies,” Tusk said of Harris, who did not say whether or not she would seek to break up tech giants when The New York Times asked her in 2019 if Facebook and Google should be broken up.
Tusk suggested that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, unlike Harris, “wakes up in the middle of the night thinking about how to break up Facebook.”
Cooper Teboe, a Democratic fundraiser in Silicon Valley, told Vox’s Recode blog Wednesday that Amazon, Google, and Facebook will be happy with Biden’s selection.
“She is the safest pick for the donor community,” Teboe said of Harris. “She will be the pick that the California, Silicon Valley donor community — who are worried about things like tech and repatriation and taxes and so on and so forth — she is the pick that they will be happiest with.”
Harris has cultivated relationships with a variety of tech titans, including Salesforce founder Marc Benioff and early Facebook president Sean Parker, as well as billionaire Democratic power brokers like Reid Hoffman and John Doerr, Recode reporter Teddy Schleifer noted in an Aug. 11 tweet.
The California senator’s campaign manager during her first race for district attorney is now California state policy position at Google, Recode reported Wednesday. Her brother-in-law is the general counsel of Uber, the Los Angeles Times reported in 2019. Harris’s former press secretary joined Twitter’s communications team in February, according to his Linkedin account.
Roger McNamee, a Silicon Valley investor and a critic of Facebook, suggested to Recode that a politician like Harris could push certain kinds of regulations because of her connections to Silicon Valley.
“As senator from California, Kamala Harris was understandably aligned with Big Tech,” McNamee said. “As vice president, she has an opportunity to stand up for all Americans.”
Harris has repeatedly called for Twitter to ban Trump from the platform altogether and also grilled Zuckerberg during his 2018 testimony for not addressing why Facebook did not alert users that now-defunct data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica was collecting their personal information in 2015 before the 2016 election.
Harris will also be joining Biden’s ticket as he pressures Facebook, Twitter and other tech companies to remove what the former vice president believes is Trump’s repeated use of election misinformation.
Biden called on his Twitter followers to sign an open letter in June to demand the company “change its policies to crack down on misinformation in ads.”
Cynthia Hogan, a government affairs executive at Apple, helped the Biden campaign vet Harris before Biden eventually made his selection, TechCrunch reported in April. The campaign has welcomed a slew of tech operatives onto its staff, the Times reported Monday before Biden announced Harris as his running mate.
The Biden campaign’s Innovation Policy Committee, made up of 700 volunteers, includes eight people who work for Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple, the Times reported, citing internal documents. Other committee members have ties to the tech companies as well, including economists and lawyers who have advised them, according to the report.
Neither the Biden campaign nor Harris’ office have responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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