Silicon Valley billionaire backing independent database for Democratic voters: report

The billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, has reportedly teamed up with a few ex-Obama administration officials to build an independent database that would store all of the progressive community's voter data.

Three sources familiar with the initiative told Politico that the project backers plan to funnel $35 million into the effort in the first year alone and Hoffman will be the primary investor.

“As we build this effort, we will be reaching out to all the key players soon to get this done,“ a person familiar with the discussions told the paper, emphasizing that the effort is still in its beginning stages.

“Across the board, everyone involved agrees that the Republicans have a tremendous advantage when it comes to data infrastructure going into 2020, and that there needs to be a real shift in our thinking and action in order to set candidates up to be successful for people around the country.”


The project will be independent from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and likely for-profit, Politico said. The ambitious project likely would not be ready for 2020.

The DNC's top leaders have reportedly been telling people that Hoffman's proposed bank is an "existential threat" if it is independent from the national committee, two sources with knowledge of the discussions told Politico.

"The DNC believes the creation of a data trust is imperative to winning in 2020 and beyond, and we are open to participating alongside a variety of partners in a data trust that protects the interests of our party and ensures state parties have what they need to win," Mary Beth Cahill, a senior adviser to the DNC, told Politico in a statement.

The data trust structure would allow for money to be raised from the private sector free from campaign finance limits and allows outside groups to pool data in realtime, Politico reported. 

-Updated Dec. 11 at 10:11 a.m.