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Obama tech dinner: Company spending figures for D.C. lobbying, campaign contributions

February 21, 2011 |  6:08 pm


Most of the hype around President Barack Obama's dinner with a dozen of California's tech-industry leaders was around the appearance of Apple CEO Steve Jobs as he struggles with health issues.

But the dinner, which took place last Thursday, wasn't about Apple or Steve Jobs. The dinner, The White House said, was about U.S. innovation in technology and job creation.

It's also likely there was also at least some talk of President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign.

According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and noted by the Sunlight Foundation, 6 of the 11 companies represented by their respective CEOs on Thursday night spent millions of dollars last year lobbying federal lawmakers in Washington D.C. through employees and political action committees.

And 10 of the 11 companies and their employees contributed financially to Obama's 2008 campaign for President.

Only the Westley Group, a Menlo Park venture capital firm, spent nothing on both lobbying in D.C. and Obama's presidential run -- though Twitter did spend zero on lobbying and gave just $750 to Obama.

Stanford Univeristy President John Hennessy accounted for the 12th seat at the dinner table. Stanford employees donated $448,720 to Obama's 2008 campaign and the University spent $370,000 on lobbying in 2010.

Company Lobbying (2010) Obama campaign contribution (2008)
Apple $1,610,000.00 $92,141.00
Google $5,160,000.00 $803,436.00
Facebook $351,390.00 $34,850.00
Yahoo $2,230,000.00 $164,051.00
Cisco Systems $2,010,000.00 $187,472.00
Twitter $0.00 $750.00
$4,850,000.00 $243,194.00
$130,000.00 $19,485.00
Stanford $370,000.00 $448,720.00
Genentech $4,922,368.00 $97,761.00
Westly Group $0.00 $0.00


Apple's Steve Jobs photographed at dinner with Obama, California tech leaders

Obama to meet with CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, others

Apple's Steve Jobs scheduled to meet with Obama on Thursday

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photo: President Barack Obama talks with Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg before a dinner with technology business leaders in Woodside, Calif., on Thursday. In the background are Carol Bartz, Yahoo president and CEO; Art Levinson, Genentech chairman and former CEO; Steve Westly, founder and managing partner of the Westly Group; and Eric Schmidt, executive chairman and CEO of Google.
Credit: Pete Souza, the White House/Flickr