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Facebook wants to poke politicians 'who share our goals'

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Facebook is looking to get a firmer grip on Washington by bankrolling its own Polticical Action Committee, which will back politicians it wants to be friends with.

Facebook told political blog The Hill that the committee "will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

Names of Washington pols who are committed to "promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected" don't immediately spring to mind. It's easier to think of pols who believe corporations should be given every chance to harvest consumers' information while tracking their political views.

Facebook noticeably hosted a rake of Republicans, including House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, at a jobs and technology summit at its Silicon Valley offices on Monday, according to the Washington Post.

Even more noticeably, that event clashed with a Town Hall meeting featuring President Obama at Facebook's more grownup rival LinkedIn, where the topic was putting America back to work. That meeting was notable for a former Google director standing up and asking Obama to "please raise my taxes". There were no similar outbursts at the Facebook meeting.

Political Action Committees are a peculiarity of the US political system, and are means for companies, unions, and individuals to influence elections by funneling funds, or feet on the street, to candidates or particular measures.

Presumably Facebook's committee will be a separate segregated fund, which "can only solicit contributions from individuals associated with connected or sponsoring organisation."

Which may well be the employees referred to by Facebook. Though we suspect it'll be directors and shareholders who will be ponying up the cash, and setting the agenda, rather than the footsoldiers. ®

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