Feeds

Elon Musk and PayPal chum quit Zuckerberg's immigration gang

Couldn't stomach Fwd.us' political tactics

High performance access to file storage

Elon Musk, the billionaire backing electric cars and cheap space travel, has quit the Fwd.us political pressure group fronted by Mark Zuckerberg after it began buying campaign commercials supporting Big Oil.

The Behoodied One announced the Fwd.us group last month to push for comprehensive immigration reforms (especially for technology visas), as well as better STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, and more investment in scientific research.

Musk was named as one of the supporters of the group, which also includes Google's Eric Schmidt, Microsoft's Steve Ballmer and Yahoo!'s Marissa Meyer. But Reuters reports that he and former PayPal colleague (and now Yammer founder) David Sacks have withdrawn support after the group paid for political adverts that have nothing to do with science and technology.

"We recognize that not everyone will always agree with or be pleased by our strategy – and we're grateful for the continued support of our dedicated founders and major contributors," Fwd.us spokeswoman Kate Hansen said in a statement.

"Fwd.us remains totally committed to supporting a bipartisan policy agenda that will boost the knowledge economy, including comprehensive immigration reform."

The adverts in question were purchased for Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Mark Begich (D-AK) through front groups and promoted the highly-controversial Keystone XL tar-sands oil pipeline and drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Preserve, respectively. It was a schmooze too far for Musk.

You might ask why Fwd.us is buying these adverts, but it’s a standard political tactic used far too often in US politics. By gifting the footage, the group hopes to win over the influential senators and gain their vote in immigration reform, which is going through the Senate at the moment.

"Our advertising decisions are being made by a very smart team of political operatives who know that passing major reform will require some different and innovative tactics," said Fwd.us co-founder Jim Breyer, a venture capitalist at Accel Partners, in an emailed statement.

The adverts may have been smart political practice, but the group's actions haven't just annoyed Musk. The choice of topics angered the Sierra Club so much they set up a Facebook protest page and have been bombarding Zuckerberg with messages asking him to stop advertising for the oil industry. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
German space centre endures cyber attack
Chinese code retrieved but NSA hack not ruled out
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.