Tech execs make correspondents’ dinner weekend appearances

Tech execs make correspondents’ dinner weekend appearances
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Silicon Valley executives joined Hollywood stars at the festivities surrounding this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, underscoring how close tech and Washington have become in recent years.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick attended Saturday night's dinner as The Atlantic’s guest and made appearances at some other events over the weekend, the company said. Politico reported that Rachel Whetstone, the ride-hail company’s public relations chief, also attended parties.

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Logan Green, the CEO of Lyft, Uber's main rival in the United States, was Politico's guest at the dinner, the company confirmed.

Kent Walker, Google’s top lawyer, and Amazon executive and former White House press secretary Jay Carney also appeared at some of the many events linked to the dinner, according to Politico.

The latter two executives also attended a Thursday charity gala thrown by the Internet Association, a trade group that represents both companies, which gave guests an opportunity to mingle with policymakers.

The weekend surrounding the dinner was packed with events sponsored by corporations and media outlets that ranged from sober panels to opulent afterparties.

Big tech companies got their own piece of the action. Google, along with HBO and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, brought guests to a party at the recently renovated Renwick Gallery. Facebook went a different route, convening a small brunch at restaurant Kinship centered on a discussion of sexism, along with Glamour magazine.

The relationship between tech and federal policymakers has grown much warmer in recent years. Major internet companies now spend millions of dollars each year on lobbying and maintain large offices in Washington to influence debates on everything from encryption to immigration.

And many Obama administration figures have migrated to Silicon Valley and cashed in on their experience at the White House. In addition to Carney, Obama counselor David Plouffe is now a senior adviser at Uber, and former communications director Dan Pfeiffer announced late last year he would take a job at GoFundMe, a crowdfunding platform.