Facebook’s PAC donations tilt towards GOP, Judiciary committee members

FB PAC, Facebook's new political action committee, spent its first-ever quarter of activity hewing to a more or less bipartisan donation strategy with emphasis on the House and Senate Judiciary committees, the PAC's first quarter disclosure form shows.

Facebook's PAC was formed at the end of 2011, but the company's strong revenues and high valuation in the run up to its initial public offering allowed executives it raises funds from plenty of resources to donate. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg, and several board members including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman and Netscape founder and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen contributed the maximum allowable $5,000 to the committee.

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Some of Facebook's Washington-based employees contributed comparatively small amounts, including public policy manager Adam Conner.  Conner, who was an aide to Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) before becoming Facebook's first D.C. hire, kicked in $300 to help get the PAC off the ground.

But the Washington office's real contribution to the PAC – strategy – becomes clear after a read of its first quarter disclosure for 2012.

Of the $128,900 the PAC took in, it quickly gave away $119,000, distributing the donations on a mostly bipartisan basis. Uncharacteristic for most tech companies, the final tally of contributions favored Republicans $65,500 to $53,500.

Typical leadership cash magnets like House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority and Minority leaders Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) were FB PAC recipients.

But despite the almost bipartisan final breakdown, many of the PAC's donations seemed to ignore party labels altogether, going instead either to tech favorites like Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) or Judiciary committee veterans like Reps. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.), Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.) Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).